Kerry confident Syria peace talks would proceed

US Secretary of State Kerry says he is confident Syria peace talks would proceed, following his meeting with Gulf Cooperation Council states in Riyadh

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir (R) and US Secretary of State John Kerry give a joint press conference after a meeting with foreign ministers from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council at King Salman airbase on January 23, 2016 in Riyadh

US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday after talks with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states in Saudi Arabia that he was confident that Syria peace talks would proceed.

"We are confident that with good initiative in the next day or so those talks can get going and that the UN representative special envoy Staffan De Mistura will be convening people in an appropriate manner for the proximity talks that will be the first meeting in Geneva," he told reporters in Riyadh.

Kerry also said there was an agreement immediately after the first round of talks the International Support Group on Syria would convene.

The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria stated on Wednesday that Syria peace talks might not start as planned on January 25 in Geneva but that major parties should continue diplomatic pressure on the warring factions to attend the meeting.

"I believe we can start talks, perhaps not on the 25th (of January), but we need to maintain the pressure and the momentum," the UN envoy Staffan de Mistura said.

George Sabra, deputy chief of the opposition delegation, told Reuters on Friday that, “”There must be a halt to the bombardment of civilians by Russian planes, and sieges of blockaded areas must be lifted," before the talks starts.

The UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution on Dec. 18 which endorses an International pathway for a Syria peace process.

The resolution foresees a ceasefire and negotiation between the representatives of the Syrian regime and the opposition groups.

TRTWorld and agencies