Mixed results for Geneva talks

The talks on Syria in Geneva have entered a phase two, between political discussion and a new technical mechanism. At the end of four days of the meeting, the envoy of theUN assumes this choice, which should help the negotiations on the content.

Enthusiasm tempered

In front of the press, Staffan de Mistura said on Friday that it is felt with the parties the need to”deepen” the process to clarify legal questions and constitutional. “I think we did that,” he added. The day before, a new format between experts has begun, and four separate meetings have taken place since then. This device will be maintained during the next round, which should take place “in June”.

Both the government and the main opposition group, the higher Committee for negotiations (HCN), have been shown, however, a tone less enthusiastic about this process. Each wanted to assert so strongly that the Constitution must be driven only by the Syrians.

Not worry the emissary, who notes that “the fact is” that the mechanism “exists”. “We do not expect or do not have a goal to write a draft of the new Constitution”, he held on to clarify. “We are trying to prepare the ground for the Syrians to do so”.

Assad rather to Astana

Friday, HCN has shown less offensive than the day before. The dialogue with the envoy in recent days should allow “most crucial” in the next series, said the chairman of the delegation Nasser al-Hariri.

After you have desired a series of discussions, “more compact” than the previous five to a climate more “proactive”, Mr. de Mistura will be preferred to slow down temporarily the dialogue on the four “baskets”. But these matters of a transitional government, a new Constitution, elections controlled by the UN and the fight against terrorism should all be addressed during the next round.

In addition, the environment on the ground “is not yet ready for real political discussion” that will resolve the conflict began there more than six years, has also admitted that Mr. de Mistura. But the ongoing talks are preparing this step.
The emissary will check in early next week the security Council. He had not set expectations before beginning Tuesday, those four days of talks.

All the more that the syrian president Bashar al-Assad had clearly displayed before its priority to the process carried out by its allies russia and iran but also by Turkey to Astana, Kazakhstan.

Millions of refugees

These three countries have recently concluded an agreement for a de-escalation between the government and the rebels in the four areas. These must be doubled in no-fly zones.

For its part, the HCN refers to any attempt that would aim to relocate the Geneva discussions. “We want to maintain the political process here,” under the responsibility of the UN, has also described Mr al-Hariri. And according to him, this scenario is the only possibility to achieve a political transition.

In addition to Astana, Moscow has strengthened its weight in the talks in Geneva. The vice-minister of foreign Affairs of russia Gennady Gatilov has again met with the different actors. On Friday, he participated in a discussion with Mr. de Mistura and the u.s. representative to the working group on the truce in Syria, Henry Ensher.

This meeting was held while the u.s. army conducted Thursday an air strike against militia backed by the regime and Iran. These groups had intervened against rebels supported by the United States in the south of the country. Eight people have been killed, said the syrian Observatory human rights (OSDH).

Syria and Russia have condemned the bombing. In total, 13.5 million people are in need of assistance in Syria, where the Switzerland announced on Friday that it would open a humanitarian office, and 5 million are refugees in neighbouring countries. In six years, the conflict has claimed more than 320’000 victims. (tty/nxp)

Created: 19.05.2017, 20: 30

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