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New round of Syria talks in Geneva scheduled for May 16-19

GENEVA, May 11. /TASS/. A new round of intra-Syrian talks will be held in Geneva from May 16 to 19, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura told a briefing on Thursday.

"We are preparing intra-Syrian new round of talks next week. They will be starting on the 16th. We are aiming as a target towards the 19th," the envoy said. He said a new round "will be a rather business-like, rather short comparing to other meetings".

"We are getting into what we hope more business-like type of approach," he said, marking that future "rounds can start becoming more business-like".

Focusing on reasons for making a new round rather short, he said ""... and, secondly, because the Holy Ramadan starts, and is not the reason of stopping talks or not having them, but certainly does have an impact".

He said talks between the delegations will be held in the same format, with his mediation, so that to achieve more progress than if it were a formal general meeting. He also hailed outcomes of the meeting on Syria in Astana on May 2-3 as "extremely potentially promising", saying "we want to connect as much as possible that outcome with some political horizon".

In reply to journalists’ queries, Staffan de Mistura marked that translating into life ceasefire agreements always involves big mistrust. However, the document on de-escalation zones in Syria was inked by three guarantor states - Russia, Iran and Turkey. This "anyway symbolizes that more than simply verbal declaration," he said.

"So I would give it a strong chance to be showing that it has a strong chance, and the UN is supportive of that," he marked.