Syria Conflict: UN-Led Negotiations Open in Geneva

United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura welcomes a delegation of Syrian women during the Intra-Syrian talks, Geneva. 23 February 2017. UN Photo/Violaine Martin
United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura welcomes a delegation of Syrian women during the Intra-Syrian talks, Geneva. 23 February 2017. UN Photo/Violaine Martin

Welcoming the representatives of the Syrian Government and its opposition to the United Nations-facilitated negotiations that opened Thursday in Geneva, the UN envoy Staffan de Mistura reiterated the need to work together for a political solution.

“We face an uphill battle. It will not be easy,” Mr. de Mistura said, “but we must apply ourselves to this task.” “Let’s try to work together to end this horrible conflict and lay the foundation for a country at peace with itself, sovereign and unified,” he noted.

Making reference to the Palais des Nations where the intra-Syrian negotiations are being held, he said the UN headquarters in Switzerland was a symbol “unifying all of us” given its history and could be the place where “Syrians started a long, hard journey to peace.”

He stressed that after six years of conflict, people are waiting for a relief from all suffering and dream “for a new road out of this nightmare.”

According to a UN statement, Mr. de Mistura is continuing to push for a resolution to the conflict based on UN Security Council resolution 2254 (2015).

The resolution endorsed a road map for peace process in Syria, including specific language on governance, constitution, elections, and even how negotiations should be timed.

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Rakesh Raman