16:10 GMT +323 May 2018
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    De Mistura Uses Gavel as New 'Tool' to Deal With Sides at Syria Talks in Geneva

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    UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura used a gavel during his talks with the Syrian sides as a new tool of influencing them in his role as a mediator during the current round of the talks in Geneva, a representative of the opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) Salem Meslet told Sputnik.

    GENEVA (Sputnik) — Sputnik also heard about the existence of the gavel from de Mistura's office. The special envoy seems to be actively using his new tool during the talks with Damascus delegation and the HNC.

    Meslet confirmed to Sputnik that the special envoy used the gavel during a meeting. Another member of the delegation, who preferred to stay unnamed, said de Mistura banged it on the table just at the moment when the delegation was traditionally complaining about the "regime's atrocities."

    A source that was present at de Mistura's meeting with Damascus delegation said that the special envoy used the gavel when he heard the traditional accusation from the government delegation of a "lack of patriotism" from the side of the opposition.

    Such methods of de Mistura, who has always been over-diplomatic and gentle, confused the negotiators. The government delegation head noted that de Mistura treats them "as schoolboys," while the HNC team asked the envoy who gave him the right to be a judge, according to the source.

    The sixth round of intra-Syrian talks began in Geneva on Tuesday. The negotiations held under the auspices of the UN brought together representatives of the Syrian government, as well as different opposition groups.


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    Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee (HNC), Staffan de Mistura, Syria, Geneva
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