Geneva peace talks produce clear agenda: United Nations envoy

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

03 de marzo de 2017, 17:43Moscow, Mar 3 (Prensa Latina) Russia expects success in the negotiations about Syria in Geneva, to which we never challenged our efforts for a dialogue between the Syrian conflicting sides in Astana, Russian Foreign Vice Minister Serguei Riabkov stated today.

United Nations mediator Staffan de Mistura said the warring parties now had a clear plan to pursue a political solution to a conflict that is entering its seventh year.

The antagonism has been clear in briefings after each session of talks with de Mistura, with the Syrian regime delegation chief Bashar al-Jaafari lashing out at "terrorists" in the HNC. This follows rebels talking to Russians and the Russians have talked to government officials.

The fourth round of UN-backed intra-Syrian talks between the government and opposition factions kicked off in Geneva last week and concluded on Friday.

There's no underestimating what a huge step forward that is, as previous talks have rarely managed to get through to the end to finish in an orderly fashion, and having both sides reach a joint agreement of sorts, even if it is just a vague one on continuing the talks, is pretty much unprecedented.

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The additional basket, said de Mistura, "addresses within the context of the overall transitional political process, issues related to strategies of counterterrorism, security governance and also medium-term confidence building measures".

Another separate round of talks in Kazakhstan, sponsored by Russia, Turkey and Iran, and dealing with military issues, is also expected to go ahead later this month. Western diplomats said they understand that the United Nations represents their best shot at a political transition, however slowly the process proceeds.

De Mistura has reportedly handed all the delegations a paper with 12 principles forming the basis for the next round of negotiations.

"Riyadh [SNC's High Negotiations Committee], Moscow or Cairo opposition platforms put together do not show the full range of the Syrian opposition".

"What I saw. gives me some feeling that we are moving in the right direction", de Mistura told reporters at the end of eight days of talks, adding that he aimed to hold another round of indirect negotiations later this month.

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