UN mediator, Syrian opposition meet for talks in Geneva

2017-03-01 12:26:00

The Syrian opposition delegation met again on Wednesday (March 1) with the United Nations Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura, as part of the intra-Syrian negotiations.

The Geneva peace process has barely reached first gear, with five days of discussion solely on how to arrange the talks.

The negotiations would only begin in earnest when the Assad regime starts discussing a transitional governing body and "the real transitional process in Syria", Salem al-Muslet, spokesman for the main opposition delegation, said on Tuesday (February 28).

The Syrian opposition is expected to meet later on Wednesday in Geneva with the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov, and said on Tuesday they hoped that Russia would pressure its ally, Bashar al-Assad.

De Mistura has proposed to the negotiators in Geneva that the issue of fighting terrorism and the ceasefire should be handled in parallel talks in the Kazakh capital Astana, sponsored by Russia, Turkey and Iran.

He wants the focus in Geneva to be a new constitution, UN-supervised elections and accountable governance, based on Security Council resolution 2254.

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