New Syria peace talks could resume in late August: UN

UNITED NATIONS, Aug 4 (APP): The UN deputy special envoy for Syria has hoped for progress towards new Syria talks, saying peace negotiations between the Damascus government and foreign-backed opposition groups could resume in late August.

The envoy, Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, told reporters in Geneva on Thursday that developments “in the next few days” could pave the way for Syria peace talks to resume by the end of this month.

He also stressed that the United Nations remained “committed” to re-launching talks.

“Bear with us. I think in the next few days there might be some movement,” towards holding “credible talks,” the UN envoy said, adding, “We have not given up hope. We cannot give up hope,” of finding a diplomatic solution to the devastating five-year conflict in Syria.

On July 31, Ramzy said after a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem and his deputy Faisal Mekdad in Damascus that he had received a positive response from the Syrian government.

Ramzy said the Syrian foreign minister had “confirmed the intention of the Syrian government to participate in these talks once they are held.”

Syria’s official news agency, SANA, quoted Mekdad as saying that the Syrian government is “ready to resume the talks with no preconditions in an inter-Syrian context with no foreign interference.”

On July 26, United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura told reporters in Geneva that he wanted “to proceed with a third round of intra-Syrian talks towards the end of August.”

De Mistura has been struggling to keep the peace process alive between the Syrian government and the opposition groups.

Two previous rounds of such talks this year have ended inconclusively.