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Time to stimulate dialog between warring parties in Syria: UN

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura gives a press conference closing a round of Intra Syria peace talks at the European headquarters of the United Nations offices in Geneva, on December 14, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The UN has announced that it is time for the global body to make specific instructions aimed at stimulating dialog between warring parties in Syria.

“The time has come for the UN to provide some specific elaborations ... and therefore stimulate a wider conversation,” said United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura on Tuesday.

He added that the UN will propose a timeline for elections and guidance on constitutional reform in an attempt to revive stalled peace talks.

The eighth round of the UN sponsored negotiations fell through last week, with no progress between the two sides.

“These propositions are advanced in good faith by the UN in order to promote fresh thinking in all quarters,” said de Mistura, adding that the success measures requires support from the parties in the Geneva peace talks.

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Previous rounds of negotiations under the auspices of the UN over the past five years have failed to achieve tangible results, mainly due to the opposition’s insistence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should cede power.

Meanwhile, Russia, Iran, and Turkey have been organizing a parallel peace process between Syria’s warring parties in Astana, Kazakhstan, since January. While they were launched years after the Geneva process, the talks in Astana have comparably resulted in significant achievements, including ceasefires and de-escalation zones that have reduced the actual fighting in Syria.

The latest round of the talks was held late October, with the three states agreeing on a Russian initiative for holding a congress with the participation of Syria’s conflicting sides in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

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