Round IV of UN-sponsored Syria talks kicks off in Geneva

Orient Net - Agencies 2017-02-23 13:02:00

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UN Special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura is holding his first morning meeting with the delegation of the Assad regime, headed by Bashar al-Ja’afari, at the UN office in Geneva, resuming negotiations that have been on hold since April 2016.

De Mistura is expected after that to meet with Nasr al-Hariri, a lead opposition negotiator.

Opposition delegates have been arriving in Geneva since Wednesday and some held late night closed-door meetings in preparation for the talks.

De Mistura plans to discuss Syria’s future governance arrangements, the process for drafting a new constitution, and a schedule for elections under UN supervision, as mandated by a UN resolution, Reuters reported.

This is the fourth round of negotiations since early last year.

Geneva talks in April last year never brought the negotiators together. Instead, de Mistura met the delegations in rotation, seeking points of common ground.