UN Syria envoy says talks have set agenda for progress on peace

Posted March 06, 2017

We declared ourselves in favor of an inclusive dialogue with the participation of all groups, including those in the opposition that are ready to take action for a political solution, the Russian diplomat said.

The geopolitical circumstances in which this year's round of peace talks are set also transcend Syrian borders. Neither is part of the United Nations peace process.

Speaking to reporters after another long day of meetings, the envoy called the round of talks "substantive" and said the parties had agreed to return later in March to discuss four points - governance, constitution, elections and counter-terrorism.

Meanwhile, the so-called High Negotiations Committee (HNC), which serves as an umbrella group for militants and opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the peace talks, also announced that it had accepted the 12-point agenda given to delegates by the United Nations special envoy.

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However, after a week of indirect talks, little progress has been made in getting the two sides to the negotiating table.

The talks aim to reach a political solution to a conflict which erupted in March 2011 and has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced many millions.

A non-paper was later presented by de Mistura "which is based on the paper we presented", said Jaafari, adding that "the non-paper will be discussed in light of our amendments".

"I think and believe that we have a clear agenda now in front of us", de Mistura highlighted.

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Chief opposition negotiator Nasr al-Hariri said, "Although we are closing this round without clear results".

Since the last round of talks in Geneva, the Syrian opposition lost control of the strategic city of Aleppo.

The UN Special Envoy for Syria said Friday that the latest round of Syria peace talks has yielded tangible progress, and that he plans to reconvene with delegations later this month for a fifth round of negotiations seeking to broker an end to the six-year conflict.

As well as incremental trust, the upkeep of a ceasefire brokered by Russian Federation and Turkey last December and improved humanitarian access in the war-torn country are seen as key factors if future talks are to avoid an early breakdown.

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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.