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UN Envoy: Only Russia, Iran Have Leverage on Damascus

UN Envoy: Only Russia, Iran Have Leverage on Damascus

Sunday, 8 December, 2019 - 08:15
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and UN special envoy to Syria Geir Pedersen (R) during a meeting in Moscow, July 5, 2019. (Reuters)
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
UN special envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen said “only Russia and Iran have leverage on the government in Damascus” and that they need to work with Europe and the US to solve the Syrian crisis.

Speaking at the Mediterranean Dialogues 2019 forum in Rome, Pedersen expressed doubts about reports of the Syrian conflict finally concluding after nearly nine years of war.

Pedersen also stated that ISIS is not “defeated” and is “still waging attacks.”

The envoy confirmed he will attend the upcoming round of Astana talks on Syria, which will be held in the Kazakh capital of Nur-Sultan on December 10-11.

On the sidelines of the Rome conference, Pedersen held talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov over the work of the Syria constitutional committee and the needed suggestions to supplement constitutional reform.

A Foreign Ministry statement said the parties exchanged views regarding the committee.

The 150-member body with equal representation of the regime, opposition and civil society, was launched on October 30 to work toward drafting a new constitution.

The ministry statement added: “A common opinion is in favor of promoting a sustainable and productive dialogue between the Syrians without foreign interference and imposed time limits to develop such consolidated proposals for a constitutional reform, which would be fully supported by the Syrian people.”

Meanwhile, Dima Moussa, vice-president of the Syrian National Coalition, spoke in Rome about the importance of a comprehensive political solution in Syria, which necessitates the full implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2254.

Moussa said the international community must cooperate with all parties to find a common ground for a solution in Syria.

“All military operations and attacks against civilians must stop. Instead, they should be replaced by measures to build trust among parties,” she said.

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