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UN Syria mediator to attend peace conference in Russian Federation

UN Syria mediator to attend peace conference in Russian Federation”

The cease-fire ended a two-month escalation between government forces and rebels in the Eastern Ghouta region.

Having regained the upper hand in the nearly seven-year-old civil war, President Bashar al-Assad appears far from ready to negotiate with his enemies at all, let alone step down as part of any peaceful solution as rebel groups have demanded.

The Vienna talks were also marked by anger from the regime over a leaked set of political proposals from the United States, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Britain and France that would involve strengthening the role of Syria's prime minister - at the expense of Assad's authority.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will send his Syria peace negotiator to the conference in Russian Federation next week, a spokesman said in New York Saturday, despite the Syrian opposition's boycott of the meeting.

"By definition I am optimistic..." As he told the press of Mistura, this special meeting takes place at a "very critical moment".

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De Mistura says he has received an invitation to attend the Sochi meeting and has been briefed on preparations for that event.

The talks will last for two days.

The United Nations is conducting its own round of peace talks aimed at finding a political solution to the almost seven-year civil war in Syria.

Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said the United Nations chief, who is in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia attending the African Union Summit, was fully briefed by Mr.de Mistura, who himself just wrapped up two days of UN- facilitated talks with Syrian Government and opposition delegations in Vienna.

"Is Russia unable to really bring the regime to the negotiating table or does it not want to bring them to the negotiating table?"

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De Mistura stressed the legitimacy of the UN-led talks over Russia's parallel peace push, however, saying firmly that a political transition for Syria "is to be reached in the UN-led Geneva process". "It is very risky to enter in any parallel initiative and ignore the main political process which is here in the UN-led process".

Previous rounds of talks have been held sporadically in Geneva, with a mandate to discuss new elections, reformed governance, a new constitution and the fight against terrorism.

The 9th round of UN-mediated talks between Syria's warring factions came to an end in Austria's capital Vienna on Friday with no tangible progress.

"Our main goal is to see the commitment of all the sides to the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2254". Described by the United Nations as an " epicentre of suffering", the fate of eastern Ghouta remains a major cause of worldwide concern. "It's our job to prevent this getting worse, be it on a military or humanitarian level".

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