UN envoy calls for consensus on Syria

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UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura briefs the Security Council. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

The stakes are high in Syria and now is the time to support the UN-led process aimed at ending six years of conflict, the organization's envoy for the war-torn country told the Security Council on Wednesday.

Staffan de Mistura said "fragile progress" made during recent negotiations between the Government and opposition is now in grave danger.

Lucy Dean reports.

The latest round of proximity talks in Geneva saw the two sides discussing four core areas, or "baskets": namely issues related to governance, the constitutional process, elections and counter-terrorism.

While there were no breakthroughs, Mr de Mistura noted there were "no breakdowns either."

However, the UN envoy said recent developments mean that there are two paths ahead for Syria: one leading towards more death and destruction; the other towards further discussion and de-escalation.

He called for urgent consensus to support the UN-led negotiation process, with the goal of achieving an "orderly, credible and irreversible" political transition.

"This is a time for clear-thinking, strategy, imagination, cooperation. On the ground, those who do not want a negotiated political settlement – we call them spoilers – are stopping at nothing to undermine the political process. They want us to fall into their own trap. We must not allow them to do that. We must all resolve that the time has come where the intra-Syrian talks move beyond preparatory discussions and into the real heart of the matter, across all four baskets, to secure a meaningful negotiated transition package."

The envoy reiterated that there can only be a political solution to the Syrian conflict.

Lucy Dean, United Nations.

Duration: 1’23”

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