The UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura affirmed on Monday that the new round of Syrian talks in Geneva will be important in light of the Astana memorandum on the de-escalation zones in Syria.
In a press conference in Geneva, de Mistura said that it is fair to say that this meeting will be different from previous meetings, and that all delegations will be present and all parties had agreed on the agenda adopted in the two previous rounds and agreed on four baskets that are all important and will be discussed in a balanced manner.
He pointed out that the aim of this round is to be in-depth and practical as the meetings will be more interactive and recurring, and some headlines will be focused on in order to make more progress in some baskets or in all of them which will be known immediately after holding discussions with the delegations.
De Mistura said that there is no doubt that this meeting is important in light of the Astana memorandum, considering that any form of calm or easing of tension cannot continue unless there is a political prospect in one way or another, and that’s exactly what the all parties are working for.
He pointed out that the Syrian government is interested in dialogue and believes in a political solution, noting that the delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic arrived in Geneva headed by Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari and they are there to work and they are authorized to discuss in a serious manner.
He said that this round of talks will be different from the previous ones in terms of the scarcity of press statements after each meeting, and this is up to the delegations, adding that there is a plan to resume talks during the month of Ramadan.
De Mistura said everything that happens on the ground in Syria could affect the political talks negatively or positively, calling on the international community to turn the agreement of de-escalation zones into reality.
On the role of Syrian Kurds in the political process, de Mistura said that there will be representation for them in the next talks.
In responding to a question about the possibility of holding direct dialogue among the Syrian parties, de Mistura affirmed it is necessary, but this point is not discussed yet due to differences in the attitudes.
For his part, de Mistura’s deputy Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy said that the issue of the four baskets was emphasized during his visit to Damascus, pointing out that Damascus is dealing seriously with all the proposals issued by the United Nations.
He added that the delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic is fully involved in the talks and they want to work with the UN on the political process in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.