GENEVA, Switzerland, Apr 1 (NNN-SANA) - The fifth and latest round of Syria peace talks ended Friday, with the UN special envoy for Syria lauding the engagement of rival delegations participating in negotiations, seeking to broker a political end to the six-year conflict.
"We are in a moment of pushing ahead an agenda. The work that has been done should not be either underestimated or dismissed, they have worked hard with us," Staffan de Mistura told press.
"We see this as progress, preparation for progress," he added.
De Mistura has been shuttling between the Syrian government delegation and the opposition delegation since Mar 24, in a bid to make each party see eye to eye on a number of thorny issues.
While no breakthrough has been achieved, de Mistura said, invitees touched upon "each or most" of the four baskets, referring to issues of governance, constitution, elections and counter-terrorism.
A series of papers have also been exchanged between the UN and the delegations, to encourage discussion and debate.
The UN has further produced a series of non-papers, drawing upon principles of commonality, such as, national sovereignty, territorial integrity, and respect for different communities.
De Mistura noted that Syrian invitees appeared to be keen to reconvene in the Swiss city, to continue with the political track, and that he is seeking to keep discussions open before negotiations resume.
When this will be, remains to be seen, the envoy said, he will travel to New York next week, to consult with the UN secretary-general and the UN Security Council, after which, he will indicate when the sixth cycle of talks will kick off.
While maintaining the momentum on the political process is crucial, De Mistura highlighted that, the upkeep of a ceasefire, brokered by Russia and Turkey last Dec, is also key to avoid the early breakdown of future talks.
Speaking from experience, he reiterated the importance of strategic patience and determination, "especially in a conflict that has lasted six years and which is probably one of the most cruel and complex conflicts we have seen in recent times."
The Syrian conflict is thought to have killed over 310,000 people, since it erupted in Mar, 2011, with millions more displaced by intense fighting and reigning insecurity.-- NNN-SANA
Source: NAM News Network