Russia to resolve 'growing conflict' between Damascus & UN Special Envoy for Syria

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© AFP 2017/ JOSEPH EID

Russia favors the current dispute between the Syrian government and UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura resolution, the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian upper house of parliament said Monday.

Russia is trying to resolve the current dispute between the Syrian government and UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, whose visit to Damascus was canceled ahead of the next round of the intra-Syria talks in Geneva, Konstantin Kosachev, the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian upper house of parliament, said Monday.

“We are trying to calm this conflict down. [The Syrian authorities] should continue interaction with the UN secretary-general’s representative in any case,” Kosachev told reporters.

According to Kosachev, Damascus maintains that de Mistura must defend the interests of all the participants of intra-Syrian talks, however, he does not hide his preferences and maintains more active contact with certain sides.

“In our opinion, these claims possibly have grounds, though, it is not enough for interruption of the interaction with the UN secretary-general’s special envoy,” Kosachev added.

On Sunday, an informed source told Sputnik that the Syrian authorities had refused to host de Mistura in Damascus ahead of the next round of talks in Geneva, which are expected to take place on March 23. Damascus did explain the reasons behind the decision.

Comment: It seems that de Mistura is failing at mediating this conflict, and has now become ‘persona non grata‘ to Syrian authorities:

According to the interlocutor of the Agency, de Mistura appealed to Republic’s leadership asking about the possibility of a visit to Syria on the eve of the Geneva meetings, which have been scheduled for the upcoming week. At the request of the official Damascus refused without explanation, stated the source.

He said that de Mistura “has become persona non grata in Damascus — both today and for the future”.

One wonders if there is a connection between this turn of events and the devastating string of terror attacks in Damascus. As de Mistura himself said, the attacks were ‘plainly designed to spoil attempts to sustain political talks’.

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from https://www.sott.net/article/345822-Russia-to-resolve-growing-conflict-between-Damascus-UN-Special-Envoy-for-Syria

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