Syria peace talks to continue in Geneva 16 May: UN

UN Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura

United Nations mediator and Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura said on Monday that he was reassembling the Syrian government and opposition for another round of peace talks between in Geneva on 16 May.

De Mistura said in a statement that he has hopes that the agreement reached last week in Astana among Russia, Iran and Turkey to set up “de-escalation” zones in Syria will be implemented in full “thus bringing about a significant de-escalation in violence, and helping shape an environment conducive to the political intra-Syrian talks in Geneva”.

Syria’s foreign minister Walid al-Moualem said earlier on Monday that Damascus would abide by Russia’s plan for such zones if rebels also observed it, adding that the insurgents should help drive Islamist militants from opposition-controlled areas.