The U.N. Deputy Special Envoy for Syria on Sunday held talks with Syrian officials within the Bashar al-Assad administration in Damascus to sound out their position on how to break a stalemate hindering the proposed continuation of peace talks around the end of August.
Ramzy E. Ramzy said he and Assad’s Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moulem discussed the subject of political transition — a major sticking point in negotiations between the Assad’s regime and opposition groups.
“We discussed how to render this process of political transition which has already been endorsed by the Security Council to be a credible one,” Ramzy told reporters.
No further details on the discussions were made.
U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said last week he aimed to convene a new round of Syria peace talks toward the end of August, and called for a U.S.-Russia deal to support the talks.
Russia and the United States are both conducting air strikes in Syria against hardline ISIS fighters, but support opposing sides in a wider civil war, with Moscow backing Assad’s government and Washington saying he must leave power.
Talks held in Geneva broke up last April after the opposition delegation quit, accusing the government of ignoring a U.N. brokered ceasefire.
Assad’s regime has said it is ready to attend a next round of talks but the mainstream opposition, which also accuses the government of preventing aid access to besieged opposition-held areas, said it would not attend unless conditions improved on the ground.