The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, met with the UN special envoy on Syria, Staffan de Mistura, to discuss preparations for the next round of Syria reconciliation talks between the Damascus government and the armed opposition, the US diplomatic mission said Friday.
“Ambassador Haley expressed support for the Special Envoy’s agenda for the next round of talks in Geneva on March 23, noting his hard-won achievement in bringing the warring parties to the negotiating table,” the US diplomatic mission said in a statement.
“Ambassador Haley and Special Envoy de Mistura agreed that all sides must come to the next round of talks prepared to negotiate in good faith. They agreed that a comprehensive political process is the only way to rid the country of terrorist groups and allow Syria to become peaceful and prosperous,” the statement reads.
Following a closed session of the UN Security Council Wednesday, de Mistura announced plans to start the next round of talks between Damascus and the opposition on March 23. He said the discussions will be indirect and conducted through mediators.
From February 23 to March 3, after a ten-month break, the fourth round of talks with the participation of the delegations of Damascus and the opposition was held in Geneva. As a result, Staffan de Mistura passed out an unofficial document that includes provisions on the territorial integrity of Syria, the preservation of state institutions, including the army, and assistance to refugees. According to the envoy, there are four ‘baskets’ of issues which will form the agenda for the talks: governance, elections, a constitution, and an additional one on tackling terrorism.
He announced his intention to continue the talks until the sides come to an agreement on all these issues.