Kazakhstan|politics|December 22, 2017 / 10:45 AM
U.N. to join Syria talks in Astana with humanitarian hopes

AKIPRESS.COM - U.N. special envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura said on Thursday he would take part in the latest round of Syrian peace talks in the Kazakh capital Astana on Friday, with a month to go before he hopes to break the deadlock in political talks in Geneva, Reutersreported.

De Mistura’s Geneva peace process reached deadlock this month, missing what said was a “golden opportunity” to close out almost seven years of war.

Blaming intransigence on both sides, he told the U.N. Security Council he would start 2018 with a proposal to involve a wider constituency in constitutional and electoral reform, since the warring sides were stuck.

He said on Thursday he planned to hold the next round in Geneva in the second half of January.

“I am planning to go to Astana just after this meeting,” de Mistura said in Moscow at the start of Syrian talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.

U.N. timetables routinely slip, but the presence of many of the global power elite at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos on Jan. 23-26 could also create some political momentum.

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