United Nations envoy launches new round of Syria talks amid cease-fire

Claudine Rigal
Juillet 10, 2017

The seventh round of UN-sponsored peace talks between Syrian government and opposition has been started in Geneva with struggle to end the six-years conflict.

Meanwhile, Syrian Observatory for human rights said a calm dominate in Southern Syria after cease-fire brokered by US, Russia and Jordan.

The talks in Geneva open after a ceasefire took effect in three provinces in southern Syria on Sunday, with a monitor reporting that the region was mostly quiet despite scattered violations.

The three countries agreed in May to set up four "de-escalation zones" in Syria and have since been negotiating to work out the details. It's the first tangible outcome following months of strategy and diplomacy between the new Trump administration and Russian President Vladimir Putin's Moscow.

The Geneva talks are expected to last through the week.

UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura gestures on his arrival for peace talks in Geneva, July 10, 2017.

De Mistura said after that round that "important gaps remain. on major issues", and that time constraints had stymied progress.

The U.N. -led diplomatic efforts seek partly to ensure humanitarian aid deliveries to Syria and plan for the day after the war is over.

While neither the Syrian government nor the opposition were involved in the cease-fire talks, a Syrian official told Reuters that President Bashar Al-Assad's government welcomes any step that could "pave the way to a peaceful solution". Numerous rounds of talks and three different United Nations special envoys have failed to resolve the crisis.

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