09/28/2017, 10.04
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UN Special Envoy's appeal for new peace talks in Syria

De Mistura calls for an eighth round of meetings between the end of October and the beginning of November. He invites the parties in the struggle to "evaluate the situation with realism" and prepare for negotiations in a "serious" and "responsible" manner. UN Expert: violations of international humanitarian law continue.

Geneva (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura intends to hold a new round of peace talks (the eighth) between late October and early November - the date is still to be decided - in Geneva, Switzerland. "I appeal to both sides of the fight," the UN diplomat told the Security Council, "to assess the situation with realism and responsibility towards the Syrian people, preparing for the meetings seriously".

Over the years, Mistura promoted seven meetings between government and opposition, with the goal of ending the conflict that first broke out in March 2011 and which has caused at least 350,000 deaths and millions of displaced. Now the goal is to strengthen the "fragile" national truce in force since midnight on December 30th.

Previous UN sponsored talks have not really been able to guarantee effective results in the interests of a stable and lasting peace. The seventh and last one was held in July and ended without any further agreement.

Analysts and experts have more hopes for conflict resolution in Astana meetings sponsored by Moscow, Tehran and Ankara, during which an agreement was reached at the beginning of May for the creation of "de-escalation" areas of the conflict.

Mark Lowcock, head of the UN Humanitarian Agency for Emergencies and Humanitarian Affairs, confirms that "the development [of recent months] has had a positive impact on civilians". However, he adds, "we continue to receive reports of international humanitarian law violations by all parties involved in the conflict."

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