Russia: No altenative to Geneva negotiations on Syria — De Mistura

The UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said that there was no alternative to the Geneva negotiation process on Syria, speaking at a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu in Moscow on Thursday. «In Geneva, we did not have a good meeting. You know it, I know it,» he said, adding «That is why we need to work in order to be sure that... Еще Geneva can have the sufficient momentum because there is no alternative to an internationally recognised process, which is the one lead by the UN people.» Lavrov stated «I think today we, together with Sergei Kozhugetovich [Shoigu], will listen to your assessment of the last round of Geneva talks with interest. In turn, we will inform you about preparations for the next round of talks in Astana.» The Syrian talks in Astana started on Thursday and will last until Friday, when Steffan de Mistura will be joining the talks. They will involve delegations from the Syrian government and some opposition groups and be led by Russia, Turkey and Iran. Last week, the eighth round of Syrian talks was held in Geneva. Contrary to expectations, the round did not bring any visible results — the direct negotiations between the delegations of the government and the united opposition did not get off the ground.

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