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Outgoing UN envoy rues ‘missed opportunity’ at Astana Syria talks

The United Nations envoy on Syria signed off from his posting Thursday ruing “a missed opportunity” to help end the country’s long conflict at talks in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana.

A statement from his office noted he regretted that “no tangible progress in overcoming the 10-month stalemate on the composition of the constitutional committee” was made at the talks.

The meeting in Astana was “a missed opportunity to accelerate the establishment of a credible, balanced and inclusive, Syrian-owned, Syrian-led, UN-facilitated constitutional committee,” the statement said.

The constitutional committee is viewed as a vital element in reaching a political settlement in the country.

Speaking after the talks, Russia’s Syria negotiator Aleksandr Lavrentyev said the committee was of “upmost importance”.

“I want to say that we are sufficiently close to our cherished goal,” he added, without giving any date.

Source: National News Agency