Syria condemns statement by UN envoy on latest round of peace talks

BEIRUT (dpa)- Syria has strongly condemned a statement made by UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura where he accused the country's government delegation of being responsible for a lack of progress in the recent round of Geneva peace talks.
The Syrian News Agency (SANA), a state media organization, quoted an official, unnamed source at Syria's foreign ministry late Friday who said that Syria had "always dealt in a positive manner with all honest efforts to resolve the (country's) crisis."

The source also said that de Mistura, "must be honest and objective in order to reach results that would put an end to the crisis" and that he must work to remove obstacles placed by "states and sides that control other parties in Geneva talks."
At the end of the eighth round of UN-sponsored peace talks on Thursday, de Mistura said that there had been no progress, blaming Syrian government delegates for rejecting any dialogue with the country's opposition.
The 70-year-old diplomat is planning a new round of talks in January, but said he would have to come up with new ideas to move the process forward next time, such as presenting his own outlines for a constitution and elections.
The Syrian government's chief negotiator, Bashar al-Jaafari, said that his side would not engage in any dialogue with the opposition unless they retracted a recent statement issued in Saudi Arabia, which again insisted on the departure of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.
De Mistura said on Wednesday that Russia, Syria's main ally, should prod Damascus into working to reach a peace accord.

Saturday, December 16th 2017

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