Syria talks in Switzerland ‘no longer possible’: UN Envoy

TEHRAN, Jul. 20 (MNA) – Due to the neutrality issues, talks between the government and opposition scheduled to start on July 25 in Geneva are no longer possible, the UN special envoy for Syria said.

UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq didn’t directly confirm the reason but said Monday that “we do reaffirm the neutrality of Switzerland as a venue for much of the work that the United Nations does.” Geneva is the major European headquarters for the 193-member United Nations, according to Associated Press.

Syrian envoy Geir Pedersen said in a statement that the ninth round of talks on revising the constitution of the Arab country could not be held and alluded to the neutrality issue, stressing the importance of all players in the 11-year foreign-backed war “protecting and firewalling the Syrian political process from their differences elsewhere in the world.”

Haq stressed that “discussions on Syria need to be kept as much as possible separate and apart from discussions on other topics.”

A 2012 UN road map to peace in Syria approved by representatives of the United Nations, Arab League, European Union, Turkey, and all five permanent Security Council members including Russia calls for the drafting of a new constitution.

It ends with UN-supervised elections with all Syrians, including members of the diaspora, eligible to participate. A Security Council resolution adopted in December 2015 unanimously endorsed the road map.

At a Russia-hosted Syrian peace conference in January 2018, an agreement was reached to form a 150-member committee to draft a new constitution. A smaller, 45-member body would do the actual drafting, including 15 members each from the government, opposition, and civil society.

It took until September 2019 for the committee to be formed, and after eight rounds of talks, little progress has been achieved so far.


News Code 189269


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