The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura called for Iran’s more active role in helping the UN handle the Syria peace negotiations in the Swiss city of Geneva.
In a meeting with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari on Tuesday, de Mistura urged Iran’s more active contribution to UN efforts for peace in Syria within the framework of the Geneva talks.
De Mistura also voiced UN’s support for the efforts by Iran, Russia and Turkey, the three guarantors of a ceasefire in Syria, achieved after political talks in Astana.
For his part, the Iranian diplomat said the Astana and Geneva peace talks complement each other.
Jaberi Ansari also highlighted the technical assistance that the UN can offer for achieving an agreement on de-escalation zones in Syria, and for the Syrian-Syrian talks with the aim of launching national compromise in the Arab country.
On May 16, the sixth round of Syrian peace talks was held under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva as part of efforts to facilitate a political resolution of the deadly conflict in the Arab country.
The five previous rounds of the UN-mediated negotiations in Geneva brought together representatives from the Damascus government and opposition groups but failed to yield concrete results.
Syria’s warring sides have also attended four rounds of peace talks brokered by Iran, Russia and Turkey in the Kazakh capital, Astana. The most recent round of Astana talks in May produced a memorandum of understanding on de-escalation zones in Syria, sharply reducing fighting in the country.
The agreement also envisages creation of conditions for the delivery of medical assistance, restoration of damaged infrastructure, and return of displaced civilians to their homes.
Over the past six years, Syria has been fighting foreign-sponsored militancy. De Mistura estimated in August 2016 that more than 400,000 people had been killed in the Syrian crisis until then. The UN has stopped its official casualty count in Syria, citing its inability to verify the figures it receives from various sources.
Tehran insists that the Syrian nation is the only side that has the right to shape the future of its own country, rejecting foreign intervention with the use of force.