Syrian peace talks to resume on April 13

Geneva, April 7 (IANS/AKI) Peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition will resume here on April 13, UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura announced on Thursday, said media reports.

The announcement was reported by satellite TV channel Al-Arabiya on its Twitter account.

The talks, which were paused on March 24 had been due to re-start on April 11, according to the UN.

But Syrian government negotiators will only arrive in Geneva after parliamentary elections are held in the country on April 13, the UN said earlier this week.

The world body does not recognise Syria’s upcoming polls. It is trying to reach a peace deal that will see fresh elections held with 18 months, in which opposition candidates are included.

To date, De Mistura has been leading indirect negotiations between the two sides in the peace talks. These have remained deadlocked over the fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with the opposition demanding Assad leave power before any transitional government is agreed.

The Syrian government has so far refused to negotiate on Assad’s future.

–IANS/AKI

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