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Switzerland: Syrian peace talks 'slow-going' and 'difficult' - UN's Pedersen03:34

Switzerland: Syrian peace talks 'slow-going' and 'difficult' - UN's Pedersen

Switzerland, Geneva
December 4, 2020 at 23:56 GMT +00:00 · Published

United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Geir O. Pedersen noted that the Syrian peace process was 'slow going' and 'difficult' amid mistrust between negotiating parties at a press conference in Geneva on Friday, following the fourth, week-long round of the Syrian Constitutional Committee talks.

Pedersen also stressed that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been a factor in delaying the progress at the talks, commenting that "we lost many months due to COVID and so we've not met with the regularity we expected but we have now managed to meet twice despite the pandemic."

"We have another meeting coming up and frankly speaking, I think that is more than many people expected," he added.

Going forwards, Pedersen expressed hope about potential future talks with the new US administration and Russia, where they could "discuss and see if there are, you know, step-by-step, reciprocal steps that they could be taking."

This weeks' talks saw national foundations and principles at the core of the attention, while constitutional issues, including elections, are set to be on the agenda at the fifth round of talks in January. The Syrian Constitutional Committee tasked with drafting the constitution met for the first time in Geneva on October 30, 2019. It is made up of 150 Syrian delegates representing the government, the opposition, and civil society.

A small body with 45 members is participating at the latest meeting in Geneva.

Mandatory credit: UNTV

Switzerland: Syrian peace talks 'slow-going' and 'difficult' - UN's Pedersen03:34
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Mandatory credit: UNTV

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United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Geir O. Pedersen noted that the Syrian peace process was 'slow going' and 'difficult' amid mistrust between negotiating parties at a press conference in Geneva on Friday, following the fourth, week-long round of the Syrian Constitutional Committee talks.

Pedersen also stressed that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been a factor in delaying the progress at the talks, commenting that "we lost many months due to COVID and so we've not met with the regularity we expected but we have now managed to meet twice despite the pandemic."

"We have another meeting coming up and frankly speaking, I think that is more than many people expected," he added.

Going forwards, Pedersen expressed hope about potential future talks with the new US administration and Russia, where they could "discuss and see if there are, you know, step-by-step, reciprocal steps that they could be taking."

This weeks' talks saw national foundations and principles at the core of the attention, while constitutional issues, including elections, are set to be on the agenda at the fifth round of talks in January. The Syrian Constitutional Committee tasked with drafting the constitution met for the first time in Geneva on October 30, 2019. It is made up of 150 Syrian delegates representing the government, the opposition, and civil society.

A small body with 45 members is participating at the latest meeting in Geneva.

Mandatory credit: UNTV

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