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'Don't go to Geneva': Activists call for boycott of Syria talks

Activists opposed to Assad took to Twitter to express their displeasure at the upcoming Syrian peace talks
The third round of talks in Geneva had been due to start on Monday, but was postponed after intense disagreement over which opposition groups should attend (AFP)

Activists opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad came out against a fresh round of peace talks scheduled to begin in Geneva on Friday, with the future of the controversial negotiations up in the air.

The third round of talks in Geneva had been due to start on Monday, but was postponed after intense disagreement over which opposition groups should attend.

Turkey, a key opponent of Assad, has threatened to boycott the negotiations if the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) - which it considers an offshoot of the outlawed PKK - are invited.

For its part, Russia, which is fighting alongside Assad, has tried to ensure that its own list of politicians opposed to the Syrian government are invited.

A coalition of rebel groups formed in Riyadh last month and calling itself the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) said it would decide on Wednesday whether to attend.

The coalition, composed of key rebel groups, had said it wanted Assad and his allies to halt air strikes and lift sieges before they would agree to join negotiations.

With the HNC’s participation hanging in the balance on Tuesday night, Syrian activists on social media began a campaign to express their opposition to the talks. Some complained that the terms of the talks were being set by the Syrian government and its allies Russia and Iran.

Translation: #Don'tGoToGeneva: Going to the Geneva 3 [talks] under conditions set by Russia and Iran is a betrayal of each drop of the martyrs' blood.
 
Translation: This martyr says #Don'tGoToGeneva.
Translation: #Don'tGoToGeneva - To attend is to make concessions at the expense of the blood of Syrian women, children and elders and to rehabilitate the Baathists.
Translation: #Don'tGoToGeneva without an explosive vest to detonate during the meeting.
 
Using a separate hashtag, #BoycottTheGenevaTalks, many expressed similar sentiments:
Translation: #BoycottTheGenevaTalks: Stop the rabid Russian attacks on the Syrian people and allow food to enter [the besieged towns of] Ghouta, Madaya, Aleppo and Homs. Then negotiate with these monkeys if you must.
Translation: At the end of the day, anyone who attends Geneva 3 with these Russian-Iranian conditions that don't match the demands of the Syrian people will be considered a vile traitor. #BoycottTheGenevaTalks