UN envoy says Syrians should join peace process

2015-11-04 16:33
Staffan de Mistura (File, AFP)

Staffan de Mistura (File, AFP)

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Moscow - UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said on Wednesday that the Syrian government and opposition should start talking to each other, as global powers seek to keep up a push aimed at ending the war.

Russia hosted de Mistura after 19 key international players met for key talks in Vienna on Friday, including the United States, Iran and Saudi Arabia, in the broadest push yet to end the four-year conflict.

The participants - who did not include any representatives of the Syrian government or its opponents - agreed to ask the UN to broker a peace deal between the regime and opposition to clear the way for a new constitution and UN-supervised elections.

Speaking after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, de Mistura said the United Nations was ready to bring together representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition for talks in Geneva.

"We are ready, the UN is ready, to start immediately with this process in Geneva," de Mistura said.

"When? As soon as possible," said the envoy who returned from Damascus and was planning to travel to Washington next.

"We'll ask the representatives of the government, and the opposition."

2012 Geneva communique

"We have a plan," he added, saying it was based on the so-called 2012 Geneva communique which envisages a political transition in Syria as well as "the Vienna outlines."

"We need to work on it quickly," he said, adding that the talks need to begin without pre-conditions from either side.

Lavrov said the "entire spectrum" of Syrian society should be represented at the negotiating table and reiterated Russia's traditional stance that the fate of embattled president Bashar Assad should be decided by "the Syrian people."

Russia said earlier that it could host a meeting between the Syrian government and unspecified members of the opposition next week in Moscow.

Moscow has said that it handed Saudi Arabia and the United States a list at the Vienna talks of dozens of Syrian opposition figures with whom it is liasing in a bid to thrash out who each side thinks represents the factious opposition.

Before the powers meet for another round of Syria peace talks the sides should agree on a list of "terrorist organisations" and another one on the opposition which would take part in the talks with the government "under the auspices of the UN," said Lavrov.

Read more on:    un  |  russia  |  syria

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