De Mistura Expects In-Depth Discussion on Syria at Geneva Talks on Thursday

UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said he believes Thursday will be an important day in the Geneva intra-Syrian talks as the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) is willing to go deeply into the agenda and the government delegation’s willingness is to be clarified.

On Wednesday, the HNC discussed at a meeting with de Mistura the issues of the Syrian peace process, focusing on political transition in the first place.

“We had a very in depth discussion, I think we had an opportunity to go deeply in all the items of the agenda. That is quite useful. Tomorrow will be an important day, because we will meet with the government and I will see what they are also capable and willing to go deeply into agenda,” de Mistura told reporters after meeting with the HNC.

He added that “The opposition obviously is seriously interested in going deeply into the agenda. That is quite an important point for us. It is not just procedural, it’s substantive.”

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

UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura initially defined three “baskets” of talks — governance, constitution and elections. The Damascus delegation later insisted on including counter-terrorism in the agenda, as a priority.

The HNC insists that the three key issues defined by de Mistura should not be covered in a parallel discussion.

 

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