Dialogue on Syria “more urgent than ever”

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UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, speaking in Geneva on 12 October 2015. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré

Russian military intervention in the Syria conflict has introduced a "new dynamic" that has made the need to find a diplomatic solution more urgent than ever, UN negotiator Staffan de Mistura said Monday.

The UN Special Envoy, who warned of the need to avoid any further escalation of the situation, insisted that Syria's future could not be decided militarily.

And he said that 40,000 people have fled areas affected by the new military activity, adding to the more than 1.2 million people already internally displaced after more than four years of fighting.

Daniel Johnson has more.

Staffan de Mistura said there was no ignoring Russia's military intervention in Syria.

But at the same time, the UN Special Envoy insisted that the diplomatic avenue still remained open, since all regional and international players know that sooner or later, they will have to talk.

"There is no sustainable military solution in sight, and I believe and know that this is known by all, including Russians, Americans, the government of Syria and regional players."

De Mistura explained to journalists in Geneva that he planned to head to Moscow to continue what he called "discreet diplomacy", before heading to Washington to do the same.

The UN Special Envoy said that he was unable to say whether the Russian intervention would be sufficient to create a "critical mass" of interest among international and regional players to bring everyone to the negotiating table.

But he insisted that in addition to the "need for an understanding" between the United States and Russia, the need remained to listen to the Syrian people, since they are the victims of the conflict.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 1'01"


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