Ramzy: Upcoming Geneva meeting will be concise and concentrated

Damascus, SANA – Deputy of UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, said that the upcoming meeting due to be held in Geneva next Tuesday will be concise and concentrated.

In a statement to journalists at the Four Seasons Hotel in Damascus, Ramzy said “we are looking forward to positive and constructive participation by the Syrian government to ensure the success of this meeting which we view as an important meeting, and which will be concise and concentrated.”

“What I heard today from Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Dr. Fayssal Mikdad gives me hope that the Syrian position will be constructive during the next meeting,” he went on to say, adding “We will see the results, and we have hope that there will be positive movement, which will be possible if all sides come with constructive positions.

Ramzy described his meeting with Deputy Minister Mikdad as useful and that it’s part of the continuous consultation between the UN and the Syrian government which is carried out in Damascus, Geneva, and New York, adding that discussions during the meeting also tackled developments related to the crisis in Syria and preparations for the upcoming intra-Syrian talks in Geneva.

He said that de-escalation is very important for the UN, and that they hope that the Astana agreement will lead to this de-escalation and set up the suitable atmosphere for the Geneva track, stressing that there’s a reciprocal relation between Geneva and Astana.

Ramzy said that affixing the ceasefire is important and essential for creating a suitable atmosphere for serious talks, but the ceasefire can’t be sustained without political prospects.

Regarding who will participate in the next Geneva meeting, Ramzy said that there’s nothing new regarding the invitees, and that there’s agreement on what will be discussed, with a clear and unchanged agenda that will address the four baskets put forth in the previous meeting in parallel, adding that the UN has already stressed to the sides that there’s a possibility to speed up discussions about one of these baskets while remaining committed to moving with them in parallel.

On whether there’s a possibility of holding direct meetings between the participating sides in Geneva, Ramzy said the UN’s position favors moving towards direct dialogue as soon as possible, but this hasn’t been achieved yet.

He went on to say that the Geneva track is important because it reflects international legitimacy via UN resolutions that emphasize basic principles which he believes the Syrians all committed to, with these principles being the unity and integrity of Syria’s territory, respecting its sovereignty, and the nature of future Syria.

Hazem Sabbagh

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