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1st LD Writethru: Syrian gov't coming back to Geneva on Sunday for peace talks: UN envoy

Xinhua,December 07, 2017 Adjust font size:

GENEVA, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said Thursday that the Syrian government delegation to peace talks is to return to Geneva on Sunday after being absent this week.

De Mistura said the Syrian government had informed him Thursday that the delegation will return to Geneva to participate in the talks aimed at bringing about peace after seven years of bloody conflict in Syria.

"Work has continued with the unified opposition delegation" on a new constitution and UN supervised elections for Syria "without precondition", de Mistura told reporters at the United Nations in Geneva.

He cited Russian President Vladimir Putin as saying recently that there is a need for presidential and parliamentary elections under the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254.

De Mistura was critical of the humanitarian situation in parts of Syria, particularly the siege in Eastern Ghouta near Damascus where hundreds of Syrians are being prevented from getting urgent medical attention and some are dying because the government has not signed off on them to be lifted out.

This was outlined earlier at the same briefing by the UN special advisor on humanitarian affairs Jan Egeland and de Mistura said it is "unacceptable".

He noted there could not be "a lot of political process if this is happening while people are dying".

On Wednesday, the UN envoy had met the Syrian opposition delegation for a bilateral talk, while the Syrian government delegation was absent from the talks.

The government delegation led by head of Syria's mission to UN, Bashar al-Ja'afari, left the talks on Saturday for a weekend break and did not return on Tuesday, the day set by UN to resume the talks.

The new round of the UN-led Syrian peace talks started on Nov. 28, and has been scheduled to be held here in Geneva till Dec. 15. Enditem