June 10 – By Scott Lucas – eaworldview – The UN envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, has announced an indefinite delay in political talks in Geneva. De Mistura said on Thursday that no talks will be held until all sides agree the parameters for a political transition.He said that a series of “low-profile” technical meetings will be held in various cities to discuss issues such as the role of the Syrian army and national institutions after any agreement:
I have informed the Security Council just a few days ago….The time is not yet mature for the official third round of the intra-Syrian talks.
Why? Because we are aware that a third round needs to be a concrete one.
The first two rounds of talks, in January-February and in April, made no progress. President Assad effectively ruled out negotiations in late March, when he rejected a transitional governing authority, the center of international proposals since 2012.The talks were also doomed by the regime’s refusal to halt bombing, end sieges, and release political detainees — all fundamental conditions set by the opposition-rebel bloc.
De Mistura said last week that, while the third round had been postponed, he hoped to bring the two sides together later this month. Instead, the political focus has been on whether aid could be arranged for long-besieged areas across Syria. The International Syrian Support Group — 17 countries, the UN, European Union, and Arab League — mandated assistance, including airdrops, if the Assad regime did not allow access by June 1. However, De Mistura and UN officials stepped back from the commitment, saying the consent of the regime was necessary for any delivery.The UN subsequently set a target of June 10 for the regime to permit aid by land. www.mesop.de