इंडियन आवाज़     30 Nov 2023 03:35:23      انڈین آواز

Next round of UN backed talks on Syria on April 9


The UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, has said he plans to restart peace talks on April 9 with a focus on political transition despite the Bashar al-Assad regime’s request to resume talks after parliamentary elections on April 13.

Meeting of Task Force on Humanitarian Access in Syria

Addressing a press conference at the end of talks in Geneva on Thursday, de Mistura said: “I am expecting and hoping… the next round of talks will not be focusing on principles again. We have had enough of that. There are many common valid points there, but we have to start focusing on the political process.”

De Mistura handed a document at the last day of talks to the Syrian regime and opposition in Geneva, outlining basic principles for a political solution to the Syria crisis.

The UN envoy said that neither the regime delegation nor the opposition delegation have refused this document.

“The participants in the intra-Syrian talks agree with the special envoy that the full implementation of UNSC Resolution 2254, the ISSG [International Syria Support Group] statements and the Geneva Communique in its entirety are the basis for a political transition process and beyond that will end the crisis in Syria — a crisis that has cost countless lives and imposed endless suffering on the people of Syria,” the document read.

“The sides confirm that a political settlement is the only way to peace. Towards this end, the parties recognize the following essential principles as the foundation for a future Syrian state that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people,” it stated.

The 12 points consisted of respect for the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity; the principles of sovereign equality and non-intervention; a democratic, non-sectarian state based on citizenship and political pluralism, diversity and the contributions and values of all religions.

The document also noted women’s equality of rights and representation at a level of at least 30 percent during the transition and thereafter; the political transition mechanisms for credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance; an environment of stability and calm during the transition; continuity and reform of state institutions and public services; along with measures to protect the public infrastructure and private property.

It also rejected terrorism and strongly opposes terrorist organizations, committing to rebuilding a strong and unified national army. There shall be reparations, redress, care, and restitution of rights and property lost for those who have suffered loss or injury in consequence of the conflict.

Syrian opposition said Thursday the basis has been set for “substantive” peace talks and political transition before the next round of talks in April.

“Out of these two weeks we come out with feeling that we have perhaps laid the basis for substantive talks in the next round. We have not had those substantive talks,” Syrian opposition delegate Basma Kodmani said.

About the document handed out by de Mistura, Kodmani said: “We think that this paper is constructive.”

Last month, Russia and the U.S. agreed over a cessation-of-hostilities agreement over Syria, which paved the way for talks to resume; however, it is only valid for two weeks, according to Syrian opposition.

More than 250,000 people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced in syrian conflict, according to the UN.


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