'UN proposal for a Syrian federal state gets mixed reaction from opposition'

'UN proposal for a Syrian federal state gets mixed reaction from opposition'

The United Nations special envoy to Syria has put forward a plan to create a federal state in the war-wracked country, drawing mixed reactions from the opposition, sources told Adnkronos International on Tuesday

"Staffan Di Mistura consulted with some of the opposition over the hypothesis of setting up a federal state in Syria," the sources told AKI.

One of Syria's leading opposition forces, the Democratic Union Party, has elected a parliament, appointed ministers and created Kurdish-majority militias to protect towns in the areas of northern Syria it is said to control.

"Some opposition members rejected the plan, stressing that Syria needed to remain a centralised state, while it was welcomed by others belonging to non-Arab national groups such as the Kurds," said the sources.

Forces loyal to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad as well as his ally Russia support the idea of a federal state, according to Di Mistura, the sources said.

Syrian peace talks resumed in Geneva on Monday last week but after just three days Di Mistura announced "a pause", saying the talks would resume in Geneva on 25 February.

Analysts said there were no tangible results achieved at the talks amid still wide disagreement between the al-Assad government and the opposition.

Over 250,000 Syrians have died and more than 11 million others have been forced from their homes in the almost five-year-long civil war that is pitting rebels against forces loyal to Assad and jihadist militants from the so-called Islamic State.