UN en­voy hails small gains in lat­est Syria peace talks

Muscat Daily - - REGION -

Geneva, Switzer­land - The UN Syria en­voy closed the lat­est round of sput­ter­ing peace talks late on Fri­day in­sist­ing ‘ in­cre­men­tal progress’ was made, driv­ing hope that face-to-face ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween rebels and the Da­m­as­cus regime may soon be pos­si­ble.

UN me­di­a­tor Staffan de Mis­tura told re­porters in Geneva that he planned to con­vene an eighth round of talks in early Septem­ber and had in­structed all sides, in­clud­ing the regime, to be ready to tackle the flash­point is­sue of po­lit­i­cal tran­si­tion.

The main op­po­si­tion High Ne­go­ti­a­tions Com­mit­tee says po­lit­i­cal tran­si­tion means the de­par­ture of Pres­i­dent Bashar As­sad. As­sad’s del­e­ga­tion, led by Syria’s UN Am­bas­sador Bashar al Jaa­fari, has de­clared the Pres­i­dent’s fate off lim­its.

De Mis­tura said he has not seen any in­di­ca­tion that the regime is will­ing to talk about form­ing a new gov­ern­ment in Syria but voiced hope that in­ter­na­tional pres­sure could move the nee­dle. “We have made, as we were ex­pect­ing and hop­ing, in­cre­men­tal progress. No break­through, no break­down, no one walk­ing out,” de Mis­tura said.

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