The Syrian government delegation to shaky peace talks in Geneva will wait no more than 24 hours for the opposition delegation to arrive, the country's foreign minister said on Saturday.
"Our delegation will leave for Geneva tomorrow... We will wait 24 hours and if no one is there, then we will return," Walid Muallem told a news conference in Damascus.
He insisted that the opposition delegation take part in talks at the United Nations headquarters in the Swiss city, deriding them for "spending the last round in hotels." "Otherwise, we will not waste our time," Muallem said.
The last round of talks in Geneva between the government and the main opposition body, the High Negotiations Committee, collapsed in February.
At the time, the HNC delegation arrived in Switzerland roughly 36 hours after the government, but waited another two days to head to the UN headquarters.
Both the government and the HNC have agreed to participate in a fresh round of indirect talks in Geneva starting on Monday.
UN peace envoy Staffan de Mistura said the talks launch would start the countdown to UN-monitored presidential and parliamentary elections within 18 months.
But Muallem said de Mistura "has no right" to discuss future presidential elections.
"Neither he nor anyone else, whoever they may be, has the right to discuss presidential elections. This right is exclusively for the Syrian people," the top diplomat said.