French President Emmanuel Macron warned on Monday that there would be an “immediate response” to any use of chemical weapons in Syria, after holding his first face-to-face talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Speaking at a tense press conference in Versailles alongside Mr Putin, Mr Macron said they had a “frank exchange”, which covered contentious issues like the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and Russia’s alleged election meddling.
According to the Russia’s Foreign Ministry, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura could visit Russia in June, though “no specific dates” have been set.
The schedule of a next round of talks on Syria in Geneva has not been determined as of yet, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said.
The settlement process of the Syrian crisis is impossible to advance without the United States’ involvement in the UN-mediated Geneva format, Syrian opposition member Qadri Jamil said.
For the first time, all parties to Syria’s conflict — including the divided opposition — have agreed to take part in expert talks to help lay the foundation for a new constitution, the UN special envoy for the country said Monday.
UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura proposed to hold the next round of the intra-Syrian talks in mid-June.
UN envoy Staffan de Mistura ended four days of Syria talks yesterday, saying there had been “incremental progress” and he planned to reconvene negotiations in June.
In the first concrete results from talks this week on ending Syria’s conflict, the United Nations said Thursday (May 18) the warring sides had agreed to set up expert committees to discuss “constitutional issues.”
Outside the headlines, something remarkable is going on in Syria. The Kurds, making a long-term play for an autonomous region, seem to have decided that their best bet is to buy it from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. And the US is signaling that it may be on-board — a startling reflection of its pro-Russian, anti-Turkish policy.