UNITED NATIONS, April 13. /TASS/. It is time for the global community to listen more closely to Russia on the crisis in Syria, UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura told the Independent on Monday.
"The United Nations’ special peace envoy to Syria said it was time for the world to listen more closely to Russia on the four-year-long crisis that has cost more than 210,000 lives and fuelled an unprecedented growth of Islamist extremism that has spread across the Middle East," the Independent said.
The diplomat stressed that Moscow and Damascus have close long-term ties that can play the crucial role in the crisis settlement. "Russia has influence on Damascus, and it’s very important that they get involved," de Mistura was quoted by the newspaper as saying. "The two countries’ relationship goes back to the time when Bashar al-Assad’s father was in power. Therefore the Russians do have a knowledge of the system and the way they think," he added.
However, Russia is only a small part of the wider solution he is seeking, the diplomat noted. In the current situation de Mistura said he believes that "anything" capable of breaking the stalemate in Syria should be tried, "even if imperfect or partial."
Last week, the second round of intra-Syrian consultations took place in Moscow. Among the participants were representatives of several opposition parties, except the Istanbul-based National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, and the governmental delegation. "It’s a very good initiative," de Mistura said.