20 Apr 2018 18:41

De Mistura urges support for all three negotiating formats on Syria

MOSCOW. April 20 (Interfax-AVN) - Sochi and Astana are both important as venues of Syria talks, provided that this process also involves Geneva as a negotiating platform, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said.

He said he had precisely Sochi and Astana in mind for the successful development of the Syrian dialogue. All three formats should be supported because together they can accomplish the largest amount of tasks, de Mistura told reporters after meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Friday.

The Sochi format must become more significant for global community in the cause of settling Syria's crisis, the envoy said.

Astana should be an ongoing, more regular process, while Sochi should take on a large volume and greater global recognition, the UN envoy said. Only then will it be possible to achieve positive results, de Mistura said, responding to a question posed by Interfax.

The talks with Shoigu were very productive, he said.

There is still a very busy week ahead with many scheduled meetings, de Mistura said. It is very important to ensure the de-escalation on both military and political levels, he said.