Last Update 12:33
Thursday, 24 January 2019

U.N. sees movement in Syria talks, U.S. weighing in

Reuters , Thursday 14 Jun 2018
Staffan de Mistura
U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura attends a news conference at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland June 14, 2018 (Photo: Reuters)
Views: 1370
Views: 1370

U.S. officials will join talks in Geneva this month on forming a Syrian constitutional committee, U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura told reporters on Thursday, signalling movement in a process that had appeared at risk of stalling.

De Mistura plans to meet senior Russian, Turkish and Iranian officials early next week and said he expected a similar meeting on June 25 with U.S., Saudi, British, French, German and Jordanian senior officials.

“We are seeing movement and we will keep seeking more of it,” de Mistura told reporters.

“I don’t expect – let’s be frank – major breakthrough, okay? But I am confident that progress is possible and there is something moving in that direction and we need to capitalise on it,”

De Mistura has a mandate from the U.N. Security Council to hold talks between Syrians on political reform, including writing a new constitution and holding elections.

But talks on those reforms, which are supposed to provide a political framework to end the seven-year war, have produced nothing and brought the warring sides no closer together.

Much of the political impetus for the talks has come from Russia, one of the closest allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while the United States appeared to dial down its involvement in the Syrian political process for several years.

In January, a Syrian congress in the Russian resort of Sochi agreed to set up a constitutional committee, and de Mistura is tasked with selecting its membership, after getting nominations from interested parties.

Syria’s government submitted its list of 50 candidates last month.

De Mistura said he hoped to get similar input soon from the Syrian opposition, which was doing “serious work” on its own list.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.