Syria peace talks restart in Geneva

16 Mai, 2017, 13:29 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura speaks during a press briefing following a meeting of the International Syria Support Group's Humanitarian Access Task Force in Geneva

He further said that the latest round of the Geneva talks would be working all week on the "four baskets" of governance, a new constitution, elections and the fight against terrorism.

Five previous rounds of UN-backed negotiations have failed to yield concrete results and hopes for a major breakthrough remain dim.

Mr Assad has also recently called the Geneva process "null", telling Belarus's ONT channel that it had become "merely a meeting for the media".

Rebel backer Turkey and government allies Russian Federation and Iran sponsored the first talks in Astana in late January to reinforce a faltering ceasefire.

The fifth round of the intra-Syrian dialogue wrapped up on March 31st where the delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic presented several papers throughout eight days to the UN Special Envoy to Syria, the first of which was on counterterrorism and another on general principles for a political solution in Syria. Over the past year, Assad has strengthened his position on the ground, with the opposition reeling from a major setback in the capital Damascus.

Since the 4 May de-escalation deal signed at Astana, but not yet endorsed by the United Nations security council, fighting has slowed across swaths of the country.

"We are looking forward to a positive contribution from the Syrian government to make the Geneva conference a success and what I heard today from the Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad gave me hope that the Syrian stance will be constructive during the next meeting", he told reporters.

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But one issue - Mr Assad's fate - remains a daunting roadblock.

However, on Sunday the Assad regime secured the evacuation of three rebel-held districts in the capital, Damascus, bringing the city closer to full regime control for the first time since 2012.

However, Washington late Monday warned Russian Federation to not turn a blind eye to Assad's alleged crimes, with the State Department releasing satellite images that it said backed up reports of mass killings at a Syrian jail.

The HNC has insisted the president's ouster must be part of any political transition, a demand unacceptable to the Syrian regime.

He also claimed to be encouraged that the United States administration of Donald Trump was showing "increasing interest and engagement" in the Syria peace process, and suggested deescalation zones might require the presence of global troops endorsed by the United Nations security council.

On the relation between the Geneva talks and the Syrian talks in Astana, Ramzi said the relation is reciprocal, noting that the Astana talks can not be a standalone without the political talks in Geneva, as the Astana talks are merely talks between the rebel factions and the government representative, while the Geneva talks have a wider representation of the political opposition groups. "What happens in the regime's prisons is much uglier than this", Mr Nasr al-Hariri said.

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