De Mistura: Brussels bombs show we must extinguish fire of war in Syria

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Staffan de Mistura. UN Photo/Anne-Laure Lechat

The terrorist outrage in Brussels is a reminder that peace talks on Syria cannot fail, UN negotiator Staffan de Mistura said Tuesday.

Speaking just two days from the end of the first round of discussions in Geneva, the UN Special Envoy for Syria spoke of his "horror" at the attacks in the Belgian city that left at least 30 dead.

Here's Daniel Johnson's report.

For Staffan de Mistura, the deadly bomb attacks in Belgium have made it more important than ever to make sure the Syria talks are successful.

Emerging from discussions at the UN in Geneva with the main opposition delegation, the HNC, and also with the Syria Women's Advisory Board, the UN negotiator spoke of his "sadness, horror and outrage" at the events in Brussels.

"We need to extinguish the fire of war in Syria… We need a political transition in Syria in order to be able to make sure that we can all concentrate and the Syrians can altogether concentrate on the danger of everyone, in Europe, in the world, in Syria and elsewhere."

With only two days left before the first round of talks ends, Staffan de Mistura said that all parties "are all working hard for a common understanding" on how to proceed.

The UN negotiator also insisted that the "atmosphere has changed", that there had been "no walk-outs" or "slamming of doors", or even the refusal to acknowledge other delegations.

Staffan de Mistura said that he wanted to believe that this was because all parties did not want to be seen to break the fragile cessation of hostilities which is benefiting all Syrians.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 1’14″

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