Syria's warring sides meet at U.N. talks for first time in three years | Reuters

By Tom Miles and Laila Bassam

GENEVA Opposing sides in the Syrian war came face-to-face in U.N. peace talks for the first time in three years on Thursday, to hear U.N. mediator Staffan de Mistura implore them to find a way out of the almost six-year-old conflict."I ask you to work to work together. I know it's not going to be easy to end this horrible conflict and lay the foundation for a country at peace with itself, sovereign and unified," Mistura told the delegates sitting opposite each other on a raised platform in a U.N. assembly hall in Geneva. After his opening address, de Mistura shook hands with both sides. It was not clear when talks would resume or if the two sides would meet for direct negotiations. At the last Geneva talks, 10 months ago, de Mistura had to shuttle between the delegations who were never together in the same room.De Mistura said the two sides had a joint responsibility to end a conflict that had killed at least 300,000 people and displaced millions.

"The Syrian people desperately all want an end to this conflict and you all know it," he said. "You are the first ones to tell us it. They are waiting for a relief from their own suffering and dream of a new road out of this nightmare to a new and normal future in dignity."

Describing the negotiations as an uphill task, he said they would centre on U.N. Security Council resolution 2254 which calls for a new constitution, U.N.-supervised elections and transparent and accountable governance.He said a shaky ceasefire brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran had opened a window of opportunity.

"The effort has jump-started the process ... to see if there is a political road forward and we don't want to miss this opportunity," (Writing by John Irish; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date: Feb 24, 2017 01:00 AM

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