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    UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura arrives to attend the first session of Syria peace talks at Astana's Rixos President Hotel on January 23, 2017.

    De Mistura Hopes Upcoming Syria Talks to Be More Productive Than Previous Rounds

    © AFP 2019 / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV
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    UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura expressed hope on Wednesday for the upcoming Syria talks in Geneva to be more productive than previous rounds, during his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The new round of Geneva talks is set to start on Thursday.

    The Syrian government delegation headed by the country's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari has arrived in Geneva to take part in the new round of intra-Syrian talks, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

    The delegation of the Syrian opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) headed by Nasr Hariri is expected to arrive on Wednesday afternoon.

    "I had a very useful meeting with Minister Sergei Lavrov and his team. We mainly discussed the preparation for the next round of intra-Syrian talks. And the fact is that they should be a follow-up, and hopefully [more] productive [than] the last round," de Mistura said.

    Deputy UN Special Envoy for Syria Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy is set to open the new round of Geneva talks on Syrian settlement, set for Thursday. UN Special Envoy for Syria de Mistura will join the talks on Friday.

    Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said that parties to the upcoming intra-Syrian talks in Geneva should be persistent and move in the right direction despite low expectations.

    "No one has exaggerated expectations because the problem is rather complicated. But it is because of that the persistence, political will should be displayed to move in the right direction," Bogdanov said.

    He noted that the fact the main Syrian opposition groups and the government delegation are traveling to Geneva ahead of the talks scheduled for Thursday proves "they are committed to constructive work." Bogdanov expressed hope that the next round of negotiations would prove to be constructive, saying "we should stop the war and negotiate peace, and help the population at the same time."


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