Fresh UN-sponsored Syria peace talks slated for 10 July in Geneva; Bashir al-Assad's future to be discussed

Geneva: A fresh round of UN-sponsored Syria peace talks will begin on 10 July in Geneva, the UN envoy said Saturday, amid slim hopes for progress towards ending over six years of bloodshed.

Staffan de Mistura also said he intended to convene further talks in August and September.

File image of Bashar al-Assad. Reuters

File image of Bashar al-Assad. Reuters

De Mistura added meetings on constitutional and legal issues will continue alongside the formal sessions.

The last round of UN-sponsored peace talks finished on 19 May with De Mistura telling the UN Security Council that "important gaps remain between the parties on major issues," not least the fate of President Bashar al-Assad.

The opposition insists Assad must leave power as part of any peace deal but the government has rejected the demand.

The talks are aimed at ending a war that has killed more than 320,000 people since 2011 and laid waste to much of the country's infrastructure.

Following the last round De Mistura said time constraints had stymied progress on key topics, including a mooted new constitution and the organisation of elections.

At the last talks, De Mistura said the Geneva participants were not seeking to draft a new constitution, but rather "laying foundations for the time when the Syrians can do that."

Parallel negotiations have been held in the Kazakh capital Astana, where Turkey and Assad allies Russia and Iran agreed in May to establish four safe zones across Syria to ban flights and ensure aid drops.

But the plan has stalled amid disagreement over details such as which countries should send in forces to police the zones.

A new round of Astana talks had been scheduled for the coming days but has been postponed indefinitely.


Updated Date: Jun 17, 2017 20:06 PM

Also Watch

Social Media Star: Abhishek Bachchan, Varun Grover reveal how they handle selfies, trolls and broccoli
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 It's a Wrap: Soorma star Diljit Dosanjh and Hockey legend Sandeep Singh in conversation with Parul Sharma
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 Watch: Dalit man in Uttar Pradesh defies decades of prejudice by taking out baraat in Thakur-dominated Nizampur village
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 India's water crisis: After govt apathy, Odisha farmer carves out 3-km canal from hills to tackle scarcity in village
  • Sunday, July 15, 2018 Maurizio Sarri, named as new Chelsea manager, is owner Roman Abramovich's latest gamble in quest for 'perfect football'

Also See