UN envoy Staffan de Mistura today said there was no intention to hold any additional formal peace talks in Syria any time soon, though some low-profile technical meetings have been held in a few different cities surrounding the possible August 1 transition.
The political transition endorsed by the UN Security Council has a deadline of August 1, which Mistura says is still “attainable,” and says the focus of the technical talks is to decide the role of the military and other government bodies afterwards.
This appears to be putting the cart before the horse, however, as the rebel groups are not on board with the transition, and expressed outrage at the UN plan in the first place for not specifically demanding an immediate ouster of President Assad.
The US and Russia have, meanwhile, been holding their own bilateral talks on the future of Syria, though once again these talks seem to be happening without much support in Syria, and with little expectation of a deal being reached any time soon.
Despite Mistura’s presentation that the peace talks are on hold for the sake of the transition, the reality is he probably couldn’t get both sides to attend another round right now anyhow, and August 1 is likely to come and go without any meaningful change.
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