Published: Fri, December 15, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Syria peace deal failure can lead to fragmentation: Mistura

Syria peace deal failure can lead to fragmentation: Mistura

The Damascus official described the statement as "blackmail of the Geneva process". The negotiations in reality did not take place.

Jaafari meanwhile harshly criticized De Mistura, insisting he had "undermined" his position as mediator when he publicly appealed to Moscow to push for new Syrian elections.

The report, which cited unidentified U.S. and European Union officials, said Trump's decision reflected Washington's limited options in Syria after the military successes of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah in fortifying Assad's government.

The United States does not believe Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad will stay in power and remains committed to the Geneva process, Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert said during a press briefing.

The UN Special Envoy said that Damascus delegation showed no desire to engage in direct talks with the Syrian opposition and had set a precondition by demanding to pressure the opposition delegation to withdraw Riyadh-2 communique. "A golden opportunity at the end of this year when in fact there is a clear indication by many sides that the military operations are coming to a close".

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However, de Mistura, who has mediated the talks since early 2016, said he was still planning to reconvene the two sides next month - but will need to consult with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres first.

The head of the Syrian opposition is warning that the United Nations -mediated peace talks in Geneva are in "great danger" and is accusing the government delegation of sabotaging them.

In a breach of diplomatic protocol, the government delegation this week posted a video clip showing Jaafari in front of a map instructing de Mistura on terrorist trouble spots across the country.

The eighth round of formal intra-Syrian peace talks in Geneva concluded on Thursday.

"His statement undermined his mandate as a facilitator of the talks, which will affect the entire Geneva process", al-Jaafari told reporters on Thursday.

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But in a television interview broadcast Wednesday night, de Mistura had already made clear one critical requirement for progress: urging President Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation, the key ally of President Bashar Assad of Syria, "to have the courage" to pressure the Syrian government into concessions.

Mr de Mistura called on Russian president Vladimir Putin to "have the courage" to push the Syrian government to accept new elections and a new constitution and "convince them there is no time to lose.".

In the interview, de Mistura said it was "regrettable" that Assad's delegation had refused to meet face-to-face with the opposition.

Russian Federation has provided crucial military and diplomatic backing to Assad's forces, though Putin announced a drawdown of his forces in Syria during a surprise visit to the Mideast country on Monday.

The opposition, however, blamed the government side for "procrastination".

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The latest round of talks began on November 28 with meetings between de Mistura and the opposition.

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