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Syria needs both military and political de-escalation - UN Syria envoy

Staffan de Mistura expects "both Astana and Sochi to actually make a contribution to the Geneva process"

GENEVA, April 21. /TASS/. UN Special Envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura considers it necessary to agree not only on a military de-escalation, but also on a political de-escalation in Syria.

On Friday, he discussed the issues of Syrian settlement with Russia’s Defense Minister and Foreign Minister, Sergey Shoigu and Sergey Lavrov, in Moscow.

"On the political tensions, we need a political de-escalation, not only a military de-escalation," de Mistura was quoted as saying by the press service.

Special envoy expects "both Astana and Sochi to actually make a contribution to the Geneva process," he said, adding that "at the end, that is the only internationally recognized process."

"So we need to revitalize all three (processes): Make Astana (process) more consistent in de-escalation, make Sochi with its promise to become a reality and Geneva to use it," de Mistira explained.

The eighth round of the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva held from November 28 to December 14, 2017, was attended by delegated of the country’s government and opposition. De Mistura described it as the "golden opportunity missed."

The first round of the Astana talks on Syria took place on January 23-24, 2017, which launched the process of determining moderate armed opposition groups, capable of holding talks with the Syrian government. Russia, Iran and Turkey also agreed to establish a trilateral group to monitor the Syrian ceasefire.