Opposition pushes Russian Federation to get Syria deal in six months

by Jared Lewis December 1, 2017, 1:33
Opposition pushes Russian Federation to get Syria deal in six months

De Mistura has asked both sides to come to the talks without preconditions.

Previous rounds of talks have gone nearly nowhere, with de Mistura shuttling between hotels and meeting different groups separately.

These were "very close, proximity, parallel meetings", de Mistura said.

"We decided that we should continue having this meeting in the UN Headquarters in Geneva, this will be the first official meeting that we will be holding with the delegation of the Syrian government, and then we will continue tomorrow as well", he said.

GENEVA: Syrian government negotiators arrived in Geneva on Wednesday to join United Nations-backed peace talks to end the civil war, adamant that they will not tolerate any discussion of President Bashar al-Assad's ouster.

Head of the Syrian regime delegation Bashar al-Jaafari arrived in Geneva on Wednesday to attend the new round of intra-Syrian talks - under pressure from Russian Federation - but he informed UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura that he refused to hold direct talks with the High Negotiation Committee delegation, diplomatic sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

De Mistura originally planned a round of 4-5 days but was now planning to continue until December 15, Hariri said, adding that his team had come hoping for direct talks with the government delegation for the first time.

He told a news conference that the talks would focus on a new constitution and UN-supervised parliamentary and presidential elections.

"Let's be frank: direct contact is good, but what is essential is being able to exchange opinions and shuttling as we do ... is good enough", he said.

The UN mediator also mentioned an unspecified "12 points" in the works that could lead to a "shared vision of what Syria could look like" after more than six years of war.

Earlier Thursday, de Mistura's adviser Jan Egeland told reporters that 500 people, mainly women and children, desperately needed to leave Syria's Eastern Ghouta region, one of the last rebel-held strongholds.

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