MOSCOW, December 21. /TASS/. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said at a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu on Thursday that the time has come to promote the political process in Syria.
"We are not only at the turning point of the Syrian crisis, but we also are at the end of the year, an important year," he noted. "We recognize that now is the time for a genuine political process. That’s why I’m looking forward for these discussions."
"In Geneva we didn’t have a good meeting, you know it, I know it," the diplomat said. "That’s why we need to work in order to make sure that Geneva can have the sufficient momentum, because there is no alternative to an internationally recognized process, which is the one led by the UN."
The UN envoy also spoke highly of the talks in Astana. "Astana has been helping a lot in the de-escalation," he explained. "I’m planning to go to Astana just after this meeting in order to be able to see, I hope, some progress regarding the detainees issue, which has been a long-standing issue, Syrians are asking us all the time."
According to Lavrov, during the talks the parties plan to discuss the latest round of the Geneva negotiations, preparations for the Astana round and the issues related to ensuring the cessation of hostilities and humanitarian aid.