UN Syria envoy Mistura to visit Turkey for talks

United Nations special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura will make second visit to Turkey within scope of Geneva talks in process of preparing new proposals to UN Secretary-General before the end of July

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The United Nations (UN) announced its special representative for Syria Staffan de Mistura will make a second visit to Turkey within the framework of the Geneva talks in the process of preparing new proposals in order to submit them to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the end of July.

UN Geneva Office Communication Director Ahmad Fawzi said on Friday that Syrian talks continue and Mistura will also pay visits to Russian capital Moscow and Chinese capital Beijing along with Istanbul.

Both Russia and China have vetoed UN resolutions against the Bashar Assad regime.

“The special envoy intends to finalize by the end of July his proposals to the secretary-general on a way forward to support Syrian parties in their search of a political solution to the conflict,” the spokesman added.

Mistura recently shared his ideas about a new peace plan with Ban Ki-moon and some ambassadors during long discussions at the UN headquarters in New York.

The Syrian envoy has also held meetings with “key players” of the Syrian Civil War for the past two months in Geneva in order to develop a solid ground for peace talks, the AFP news agency reported.

Mistura has already paid a visit into Istanbul last month following the invitation of the Syrian opposition groups and held talks with the representatives of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, the umbrella organisation for the Syrian opposition.

The president of the umbrella organisation Khaled Khoja and his delegation arrived in Geneva in early July and met with Mistura in order to further discuss issues blocking peace talks.

Fawzi told Anadolu Agency in April that the UN will hold consultations on Syria between the Syrian regime and opposition groups in May in Geneva. He warned the meetings are planned to be “very low key and low profile. This is not Geneva 3.”   

The Geneva I Conference on Syria was held in June 2012 in Geneva, and initiated by then UN peace envoy to Syria Kofi Annan in an attempt to reach a peaceful resolution to the Syrian civil war.

Then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, a representative from China, British Foreign Secretary William Hague, and Kofi Annan participated in the conference.

The conference issued a final “communiqué” at the end of its meetings saying that “[The goal is] the establishment of a transitional governing body which can establish a neutral environment in which the transition can take place.

“That means that the transitional governing body would exercise full executive powers. It could include members of the present government and the opposition and other groups and shall be formed on the basis of mutual consent,” the communique continued.  

“It is for the Syrian people to determine the future of the country. All groups and segments of society in Syria must be enabled to participate in a National Dialogue process. That process must not only be inclusive, it must also be meaningful - that is to say, its key outcomes must be implemented,” it added.

Following the Geneva I Conference, the mediators intensively worked to prepare a follow-up meeting, called the Geneva II Conference, which was eventually held in January and February 2014 - in Montreux - with no tangible results.

Since then there have been no equivalent peace negotiations on the subject.  

More than 220,000 people have been killed in Syria since the civil war started in 2011 between the Assad regime and opposition forces following the Arab Spring movement that swept a number of countries in the Middle-East and North Africa.

TRTWorld and agencies