World Bulletin / News Desk
U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura will be represented at talks on defusing the Syria conflict next month in Moscow, his spokeswoman said Tuesday, giving additional momentum to a process that has been rejected by the influential Muslim Brotherhood. De Mistura’s invitation confirms those talks are set for Jan. 26-29.
It’s a Russian initiative that focuses on intra-Syrian negotiations,” his spokeswoman Juliette Touma said by email.“The Office of the Special Envoy will be present at these talks. The Office of the Special Envoy welcomes any initiative that would push forward reaching a peaceful and diplomatic end to the crisis in Syria,” she said, without specifying whether de Mistura himself would attend.
But Russia has angrily criticized the latest US sanctions, saying that they could derail cooperation with Washington on dealing with the Syria and Iranian nuclear issue. Relations between the two countries have been at at all time low since Russian annexed Ukraines Crimea Peninusula.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said the talks would be a “warming up” before a potential third round of Geneva talks where previously two round of talks early in 2014 had failed to halt the conflict which has killed 200,000 people. Russia has long supported Assad who has supported the regime with arms and has become a more important ally after the Arab Spring toppled many Middle Eastern leaders. Moscow has repeated a proposal that Assad stay in power for another two year with a provisional government.
However, it is unclear which Syrian opposition figures would attend the talks. Coalition member Abdle-Ahad Steifo said that they had not received an invitiation. The Coalition has remained silent on whether it would eventually participate in the Moscow talks, because the move will have to be formally endorsed during a general assembly meeting which starts Friday, Steifo said.
Other names being floated for participation in the talks are prominent civil activists based in Syria, but who command no clout with the leading armed factions on the ground. Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood, said late Monday that the Russian initiative represented an attempt to “do away with the revolution” it seeks to keep Assad and the country’s feared security bodies in power.Last Mod: 31 Aralık 2014, 10:14