EU's Mogherini pushes for progress at Syria talks

'Enter into political process, without delays without games,' EU foreign policy chief Mogherini tells Syrian regime and opposition delegations in Geneva

EU's Mogherini pushes for progress at Syria talks

World Bulletin / News Desk

EU foreign policy chief has called on the Syrian delegations in Geneva to enter into a political transition process “without delays, without games” to better tackle the ISIL terror threat following the Brussels attacks.

Addressing a press conference in Geneva Wednesday, Federica Mogherini said the EU has three messages for negotiators involved in the peace talks in the Swiss city.

"First, the consolidation and expansion of cessation of hostilities; second, the consolidation and expansion of humanitarian access to the areas that are still to be reached; and third, l would say extremely important, enter into political process, without delays without games," she said.

She also said there is no change on the EU’s position regarding the regime and the peace talks in Geneva.

"The only issue that we discussed today with the Syrian delegations is only the political process," Mogherini said, adding: "Our talks only focused on...the need to start political transition".

Regarding the EU’s support for the Syrian opposition, Mogherini said: "Our support to the opposition is not only being present last five years but it is going to be there for the future."

About the recent Brussels attack, she said: "When the news of the attacks in Brussels came, my first thought was that the responsibility that we are all having... for bringing peace to Syria”.

Tuesday’s Brussels bombings at Zaventem airport and Maelbeek metro station killed at least 31 people. ISIL claimed responsibility for the attack through a news agency linked to the group.

She said the world was now facing a common threat from ISIL.

"The threat coming to Europe and elsewhere in the region and in the world has clear connections with spread of ISIL," she said.

Mogherini also highlighted the importance of concentrating joint forces against ISIL in an effective way.

Prior to the press conference, Mogherini met UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura and delegations from Syrian regime and opposition.

"The meeting between Mogherini and the opposition focused on three main points: The cessation of hostilities, the humanitarian aid process, and the political process without delays. We share Mogherini and Special Envoy de Mistura’s focus on the political process in Syria,” Syrian opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) spokesman Salem al-Meslet said in a statement.

“We need transition from terror to freedom,” al-Meslet added.

He said his delegation stood by de Mistura’s remarks that terrorism is a priority, but the priority of the priorities is a political solution in Syria.

"We have seen in the past few days the tragic terrorist attacks in Istanbul and Brussels. We must rip out terrorism at its roots. Stability in Syria through a political transition is essential to defeating terrorism," he added.

The latest round of peace talks in Geneva, which started on March 14, will end Thursday. The next round is expected to start in early April.

The new round of talks in Geneva aims to end the war, which has seen at least 250,000 Syrians killed, more than 11 million displaced, led to the rise of ISIL and sparked a refugee crisis.

The talks ended abruptly last month amid a Syrian government military offensive backed by Russian air power. Later, the U.S. and Russia agreed to a cessation-of-hostilities deal that saw a dramatic reduction in fighting.

Last Mod: 24 Mart 2016, 09:37
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