Syrian peace talks officially start: UN envoy

2016-02-01 21:57
UN special envoy of the Secretary General for Syria Staffan de Mistura. (AP)

UN special envoy of the Secretary General for Syria Staffan de Mistura. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Geneva - The UN special envoy for Syria said on Monday that talks on ending the civil war have now officially started, following his first formal meeting with the main opposition umbrella group in Geneva.

"We are starting officially the Geneva talks... The discussions are starting," Staffan de Mistura told reporters.

"We will meet the government tomorrow [Tuesday] and will invite the HNC [High Negotiations Committee] tomorrow afternoon to go deeper into the issues raised."

The Swedish-Italian diplomat said he expected the talks to be "complicated and difficult," but that Syria's people deserved to "see something concrete, apart from a long, painful negotiation."

He addressed reporters after wrapping up a preliminary meeting with the HNC, which arrived in Geneva on Saturday after days of deliberating whether they would attend.

"The first immediate objective is to make sure the talks continue and that everyone is on board," de Mistura said.

He could not comment on how long he expected the first round of talks to last, but said he hoped negotiations "achieve something" by February 11.

The devastating war in Syria has ravaged the country for nearly five years, killing more than 260 000 people and forcing millions to flee their homes.

Read more on:    un  |  syria

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.