As it is being underlined in the press with a reference to the UN mediator’s office Syrian peace talks to be held in Geneva on Thursday remain focused on discussing a “political transition” in the war-torn state. Meanwhile the UN is backing away from that aim.
The United Nations’ envoy on Syria settlement Staffan de Mistura had appeared reluctant in recent days to use the phrase “political transition” — a condition the opposition has linked to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s removal from office.
De Mistura’s chief of staff, Michael Contet, told reporters that Security Council Resolution 2254, which calls for “negotiations on the political transition process”, was still the basis for the talks set to begin in Geneva on Thursday.
Political transition and the opposition’s insistence that Assad quit power have been a main sticking point in previous rounds of negotiations. The Damascus government has categorically insisted that the president’s fate is not up for discussion.