Syrian government delegation postpones departure to Geneva talks: report

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Syrian government delegation has postponed its departure to U.N.-backed peace talks that are due to resume on Tuesday in Geneva, the pro-Syrian government newspaper al-Watan reported.

The office of U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said it would not comment on the travel plans of the Syrian government.

The al-Watan report cited diplomatic sources in Geneva saying the Syrian government was annoyed by a statement that emerged last week from a Syrian opposition meeting in Riyadh.

Syrian opposition groups stuck by a long-standing demand that President Bashar al-Assad be gone from power before a political transition. Damascus viewed the statement as a “return to square one”, al-Watan reported.

Reporting by Tom Perry in Beirut and Tom Miles in Geneva; writing by Tom Perry; editing by Mark Heinrich