NEW YORK, MARCH 9 – With the perspective of a new round of talks in a couple of weeks in Geneva, Italy gave its strong support to the intra-Syrian UN negotiations while stressing the importance of the collective implementation of the UN Security Council resolution 2254 on the peace process. Speaking on Wednesday during consultation on Syria, the Italian Permanent Representative to the UN, Sebastiano Cardi referred to a statement by the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Angelino Alfano, and to the importance of lending the widest possible support to the political process in Syria.
While stressing the importance that the UN Security Council keep a unite front of the matter, Cardi expressed his appreciation for the constructive approach shown by the Syrian opposition groups during the latest negotiating round: both parties, he said, should commit themselves seriously for a positive outcome of the next round of talks.
The United Nations special envoy for Syria said Wednesday he intends to bring the government and opposition back to Geneva for a fifth round of talks on March 23 to pursue agreement on a transition to end the six-year war. De Mistura told reporters after briefing the Security Council behind closed doors that the U.N. will be promoting substantive talks on four issues — governance, a new constitution, elections and counter-terrorism, “including the security organization and confidence-building measures.”
The announcement from Russia came the same day that top generals from Turkey, the United States and Russia met in Turkey to discuss mutual suspicions over military operations in northern Syria.
De Mistura said it’s very important that military commanders of the three countries invested in a solution in Syria meet to avoid conflicts and focus on counter-terrorism. “Without a strong cease-fire, the talks (in Geneva) will be fragile,” he warned. He said the fifth round of talks will continue the fourth round, which ended March 3, and indicated the participants will be the same. (@OnuItalia)