London, Riyadh- UN announced on Wednesday that the new round of talks, aiming at stopping the conflict in Syria, will be held in Geneva starting from March 14 till March 24.
On the other hand, the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee welcomed the suggested agenda for Syrian peace talks, viewing it as “positive”.
The UN Special Envoy for Syria said Wednesday that he is hoping the warring sides will make progress within 10 days after peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition resume next week in Geneva.
On the agenda Monday talks will discuss issues such as a new constitution, internationally-sought parliamentary and presidential elections, and new governance for Syria, the envoy said.
“When we start having the talks on Monday, the focus will be on substance, on the agendas, in other words on new governance, constitution, and elections, the future elections in 18 months’ time, both presidential and parliamentarian.”
While delegates will arrive in batches over the coming days, Staffan de Mistura said he expects a more “substantive, deeper” phase of the negotiations to begin on Monday. He added that the peace talks will again be “proximity” talks, which means that indirect talks will be held with the parties in separate rooms as the envoy shuttles between them.
By March 24, a recess is planned to let delegates return home and allow his UN team to take stock of what has been achieved.
“We believe that having a timetable and a time limit is healthy for everyone, so we don’t think that we can go on procedural discussions for two weeks hoping to get into substance; we go seriously into substance as soon as we can,” de Mistura told reporters in Geneva.
De Mistura specified the recess would last a “few days, a week, perhaps 10 days, in order to give the time to delegations to then return and for us to recap where we are on it and then resume them, as we did in the past.”
For his part, Oleg Ozerov, Russian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, told Asharq Al-Awsat that his country did not violate the truce, confirming that Russia is committed to ceasefire and is aiming at achieving the goals of this truce.
He also said that the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques had stated that true benefit rests in a political settlement for the Syrian crisis which is based on the foundation of the Geneva agreement and UN resolution 2254.
The Russian Ambassador denied claims that his country had put a date for the next round of peace talks between the Syrian regime delegation and Syrian opposition, explaining that it is the UN special envoy to Syria’s role.