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UN envoy sets April 9 as Syria talks target date

24 March 2016 20:15


The UN special envoy for Syria has designated April 9 as the “target date” for the resumption of indirect talks between the Syrian government and so-called opposition to resolve the crisis in the war-torn Arab country.

During a press conference at the end of the latest round of Syria talks in the Swiss city of Geneva on Thursday, Staffan de Mistura said his target date to reconvene the negotiations is from April 9, adding, however, that some may turn up as late as April 14.

The Syrian government had asked the talks talks to resume after April 13 as it plans to hold scheduled parliamentary elections in government-held parts of Syria on that date.

The talks will start “at least” on April 9 “but if people want to come on the 13th or 14th they are warmly welcome,” the UN envoy said.

“I am expecting and hoping … that the next round of talks will not be focusing on principles again – we have had enough of that – there are many valid points there, but we have to start focusing on the political process,” de Mistura said.

He said that neither of the sides had refused a document he had drawn up with common guiding principles to underpin the talks.

Elsewhere, he said a political process is needed to sustain the humanitarian aid and ceasefire in Syria.

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