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Syria

Sixth round of Geneva peace talks end with UN-Syria government divide

By Rudaw 19/5/2017
Children from near Tabqa in Syria ride in a truck. Photo: Delil Souleiman | AFP
Children from near Tabqa in Syria ride in a truck. Photo: Delil Souleiman | AFP
GENEVA, Switzerland — At the conclusion of the sixth-round of the intra-Syrian talks at UN headquarters in the Swiss capital, Staffan de Mistura, the UN Special Envoy for Syria, said the short nature was intentional, focused, concentrated "to deepen the process further."

It had been reported that the UN had proposed a draft constitution for Syrian government and opposition delegations to debate.

"I shared an internal UN paper," Mistura told reporters. "The purpose of the paper was never to negotiate the terms of the paper or to become an object of negotiation to give them an idea of what our vision could be." 

 

Mistura maintains sharing the paper was within the "four baskets" of transitional governance, constitutional process, elections, and, as requested by the Syrian government, counter-terrorism.

"We started a process of separate expert meetings on legal and constitutional issues," Mistura said. "All four baskets remain and is the agenda of the conference."

While Mistura described the talks as "incremental progress," Bashar al Jaafari, Syria's government negotiator, was not as satisfied.

Jaafari said the talks had not included any discussion of the four main [aforementioned] agenda items, according to Reuters.

Reuters reported Syrian opposition leader Nasr al-Hariri as saying it was not possible to reach a political solution or to fight terrorism as long as Iran and its militias remained in Syria.

The Geneva talks aim at finding a political solution to the six-year-long civil war in Syria, while the concurrent Astana talks have been more militarily framed.



 


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