GENEVA, November 14. /TASS/. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov will hold talks on Tuesday with the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura. Russia’s Permanent Mission to the UN Office and other international organizations in Geneva said earlier that high-ranking diplomats will discuss preparations for the Syrian National Dialogue Congress and the 8th round of the inter-Syrian talks.
The UN press service noted that the meeting of de Mistura with the Russian delegation is a continuation of the intensive consultations of the emissary before the next round of the Geneva talks, which is scheduled for November 28. In the second half of October, the UN Special Envoy for Syria visited Moscow, where he held talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu. He also held meetings with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, French officials, US National Security Assistant H.R. McMaster and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
The previous, 7th round of the Geneva talks ended exactly four months ago - on July 14. The consultations were attended by government delegations and three platforms of the opposition. As de Mistura himself reported on the results of the round, "further progress" was achieved at the talks, but the breakthrough did not happen. The Russian side has repeatedly noted that direct talks between the Syrian government and the opposition will be a breakthrough moment in the Syrian settlement.
Initially, the 8th round of negotiations on Syria in Geneva was supposed to be held in September, however on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly de Mistura told reporters that the meeting is likely to take place in October. On October 26, the Special Envoy informed the UN Security Council that the start of a new round of negotiations between Damascus and the opposition in Geneva is scheduled for November 28.