Geneva VI peace talks on Syria begin
16 May 2017 - 12:51
GENEVA: UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura on Tuesday met a Syrian regime delegation at the first day of a sixth round of peace talks in Geneva.
The new round of talks is expected to end on Friday. The delegation from the Syrian regime is headed by Bashar al-Ja’aafari. The opposition is led by Nasr al-Hariri from the High Negotiations Committee.
De Mistura will meet separately with each delegation at UN offices.
The main discussions are to focus on a new constitution, governance, elections and the fight against terrorism.
Upon arrival in Geneva Hariri said: "The road to Syria's freedom runs through Geneva.
“That is why we have come here, committed to negotiate a political solution. And that is why [Bashar al-] Assad is frightened of this process. He is afraid to engage with the agenda of political transition."
"We will engage constructively [with] the UN Special Envoy’s agenda. The key to progress is political transition, to a free Syria that has no place for terrorism and Bashar al-Assad," Hariri added.
The last round of talks began on March 23 and ended on March 31 without any clear result.
Since civil war in Syria erupted in March 2011, more than 250,000 people have been killed, according to the UN. The Syrian Center for Policy Research puts the death toll at more than 470,000.