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    United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura leaves a news conference during the Intra Syria talks at the United Nations Offices in Geneva, Switzerland, May 19, 2017

    Moscow Hopes UN Envoy to Advance Syrian Settlement Before Mandate Ends

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia hopes that UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura will be able to reach progress in Syrian settlement process until his mandate expires in late November, Russia's envoy to the United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG), Gennady Gatilov, told Sputnik in an interview.

    "In general, I would like to note that Staffan de Mistura has carried out rather complicated work at the post of the UN special envoy [for Syria], which required his considerable efforts. We hope that the last coming month of his mandate of the special envoy of the UN secretary-general for Syria will be helpful for solving the problems that restrain the Syrian settlement progress," Gatilov said.

    De Mistura announced in October that he would leave the post at the end of November due to personal reasons. The diplomat has been working as the special envoy for the crisis-torn country since 2014.

    READ MORE: UN Chief Appoints Pedersen as Special Envoy for Syria to Replace De Mistura

    Over the recent months de Mistura has taken a lot of efforts aimed at coordinating with the conflicting sides the formation of a Syrian constitutional committee — the body that is tasked with rewriting the Syrian main law. The creation of the Syrian constitutional committee was agreed upon during the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in the Russian resort city of Sochi in late January.

    Syria has been devastated by years of violent civil war that has prompted millions to flee hostilities to other locations within the country or abroad. The international community has taken efforts to settle the conflict by conducting political settlement talks in Geneva. Astana-format talks have been an important part of international efforts aimed to settle the conflict in Syria. It is during the Astana talks that the memorandum on the creation of de-escalation zones in Syria was signed in 2017.

    On Situation in Yemen

    Speaking about the Yemeni crisis, Gatilov said that Russia hoped, UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths would make additional efforts to launch the process of political settlement in the conflict-torn country.

    According to Gatilov, the main objectives in Yemen today are ceasing the hostilities and a rapid start of a dialogue between the warring sides "without any preliminary conditions."

    "We very much hope that these efforts will continue and the special envoy of the UN secretary-general for Yemen, Mr. Griffiths, will make additional efforts in order to start the process of Yemeni political settlement," Gatilov said.

    Gatilov reiterated Moscow’s position that there can be no military solution of the Yemeni conflict.

    "In this context, we are closely following the work of the UN special envoy for Yemen, Mr. Griffiths, and support his efforts to find a negotiated solution with a prospect of reaching a comprehensive settlement," the diplomat noted.

    Griffiths on Wednesday called on all sides to the conflict in the war-torn country to seize the opportunity to restart peace talks, saying he hopes to resume the negotiations within one month.

    READ MORE: Mattis Says Syria's Assad Eventually Will Have to Be 'Managed Out of Power'

    The UN-mediated talks were expected to be held in early September in Geneva, but the representatives of the Houthi movement eventually refused to come, claiming that the Saudi-led coalition, which controls Yemeni airspace, did not allow them to leave and return peacefully. The coalition said that Houthis were given the green light to leave on time, but did not use the opportunity.

    Yemen has been gripped by the civil war with the government headed by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi fighting the Houthi movement. The government is backed by the Saudi-led coalition that has been carrying out airstrikes that target the areas controlled by the Houthis since March 2015.

    Related:

    UN Chief Appoints Pedersen as Special Envoy for Syria to Replace De Mistura
    De Mistura May Form Syrian Constitutional Commission Before Resignation
    Some 10,000 Nusra, Al-Qaeda Terrorists in Idlib Have to Be Defeated - De Mistura
    Pompeo, De Mistura Agree Syrian Reconstruction Talks Premature - State Dept
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    resignation, United Nations, Staffan de Mistura, Yemen, Syria
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