Syria talks to start with "whoever" has answer, says UN

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The UN office in Geneva where the talks are due to start on May 4. Photo: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

High-level talks on Syria are set to start again in Geneva with "whoever" can offer any way out of the current stalemate, the UN said Friday.

Spokesperson Ahmad Fawzi told journalists that invitations had been sent out "a couple of days ago" to all parties who could contribute.

Discussions with the UN's special envoy for the Syria crisis Staffan de Mistura are expected to get under way in the Swiss city on May 4.

Daniel Johnson has more.

According to UN spokesperson Ahmad Fawzi, the invitations were sent primarily to Syrian delegations, though regional and international players are also on the guest list.

He said that "as many stakeholders as possible" were invited and anyone who could help find a way out of the crisis would be welcome in Geneva.

Previous UN-led talks on Syria have already taken place in the Swiss city, resulting in the so-called Geneva communiqué.

"These are separate consultations with each delegation taking stock of where we are now, almost three years after the Geneva communiqué was approved by the Security Council…Whoever can answer the question where do we stand and how can we move this forward."

The discussions led by UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura will be at a "mainly ambassadorial … and expert level" and are expected to last from four to six weeks, the UN spokesperson explained.

Terrorist organisations such as Isis and al Nusra will not be taking part, Fawzi insisted.

But he said that there will be "those who have relationships with them and, those who can communicate with them" at the upcoming talks.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations

Duration: 1'07"


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