UN envoy says Syria peace talks might be delayed

United Nations Special Envoy for Syria announces that Syria peace talks may not begin as scheduled in Geneva on January 25

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

The United Nations Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura

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.

He also indicated the negotiations had to be "serious talks about peace" related to "concrete demonstrations" like on ceasefires and aid convoys. 

Mistura clarified that he believed Russia, ally of Bashar al Assad, has been targeting opposition areas for months.

Riad Hijab, who was chosen by Syrian opposition groups as coordinator of a negotiating body to lead future peace talks, also blamed Moscow for blocking negotiations and said that the opposition could not bargain while Syrians are struggling due to the consequence of blockades and bombardments.

Hijab underlined the group will not join peace talks if a third party joins the negotiations next week.

According to the UN, more than 250,000 people have been killed since the beginning of the conflict. However, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) puts the number at more than 260,000.

The war started in Syria in 2011 after Assad used deadly force against peaceful demonstrations demanding freedom and better-living conditions.

TRTWorld and agencies