US Aims to Facilitate Geneva-8 Talks on Syria

© AP Photo / Alex BrandonState Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert speaks during a briefing at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert speaks during a briefing at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017 - Sputnik International
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The State Department spokesperson said that Washington is committed to a political resolution in Syria.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States seeks to constructively contribute to the UN-backed intra-Syrian talks in Geneva which are currently underway, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a press briefing on Wednesday.

"The United States hopes to facilitate Geneva talks, we remain committed to that," Nauert told reporters.

Nauert reiterated US commitment to a political resolution, with Syrian people ultimately deciding the fate of their country independently. She added, "We are a long way off" from that.

The eighth round of Geneva talks on Syrian settlement started on Tuesday. The delegation of the Syrian government arrived at the UN office in Geneva for the first official meeting with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura earlier on Wednesday.

Intra-Syria peace talks with UN Special Envoy for Syria at the Palais des Nations in Geneva (File) - Sputnik International
Opposition Negotiator Explains Why Direct Talks Unlikely at Geneva-8 Talks
The Special Envoy urged the sides to the intra-Syrian talks need to refrain from unhelpful accusative rhetoric and setting preconditions to direct negotiations.

At this new round of talks, behaviour of the sides that are supposed to be negotiating has become even more acute. Even though the opposition has managed to come in a single delegation, the government team is unwilling to engage with them and even missed the first official days of the talks. The opposition side, in turn, continues to lay down preconditions for the start of the direct negotiations — one of them is departure of current President Bashar Assad at the very beginning of the transitional period.

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