Talks aimed at producing clear roadmap for Syria: UN envoy

Geneva, March 14 (IANS) UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura said on Monday that the intra-Syrian talks aim to reach a “clear roadmap” to resolve the five-year-old crisis.

As the first round of the talks was opened on Monday, de Mistura told a press conference that there should be “at least a clear roadmap, not an agreement, but a roadmap” by the end of the three rounds. “This is what Syria expects from us,” he said.

According to de Mistura, the first round will end around March 24, followed by a recess of a week or 10 days, then a second round lasting at least two weeks, and the third round will begin after another recess.

If the warring parties showed no willingness to negotiate, the issue would be brought back to the US and Russia, which act as co-chairs of the International Syria Support Group, as well as the UN Security Council, the envoy noted.

“The only Plan B available is return to war, and even worse war than we have had so far,” he warned.

De Mistura said both the humanitarian and cessation of hostilities task forces will continue to convene simultaneously, enabling the talks to focus on the political transition.

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