New UN-led peace talks on Syria begin in Geneva

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Geneva, July 10 (IANS) A new round of intra-Syrian talks aimed at ending the seven-year-old war in the country started here on Monday.

The UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura on Monday met the Syrian government delegation headed by Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar Jaafari for bilateral talks, Xinhua news agency reported.

De Mistura was expected to meet Syrian opposition representatives later in the day.

A UN official said this new peace effort, the seventh of its kind, is scheduled to go on until July 14.

“In addition to the formal sessions of the intra-Syrian talks, expert meetings of the consultative process on constitutional and legal issues established during the last round will continue,” the UN said in a statement.

Further rounds of talks have been scheduled in August and September.

Monday’s talks came after a ceasefire in southern Syria brokered last Friday by the US and Russia, which provides a relatively better atmosphere for negotiations.

–IANS

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