Syria talks should focus on relief for war-weary civilians

Syria talks should focus on relief for war-weary civilians

Agency News

United Nations, Oct 31 :  Work on drafting a new foundational text for war-torn Syria officially has begun at the UN in Geneva with representatives from the Syrian Government and opposition sitting face to face and preparing to discuss the country’s future for the first time in the nearly nine-year conflict.

Addressing the delegations – as well as a third group representing Syrian civil society - UN Special Envoy, Geir Pedersen, urged them to seize the “historic” opportunity of working together, for the sake of the Syrian people.

“The future constitution belongs to Syrians, to the Syrian people and them alone,” he said, adding: “Today could become the beginning of something new, something meaningful for Syria and for Syrians everywhere. And this will be led by you, and you only, as both Co-Chairs have emphasized. Together, we can make this come through; tomorrow, the hard work begins.”

UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir O Pedersen chairs the first face-to-face talks between Government and opposition to take place during the nearly nine-year Syria conflict, as the Syrian Constitutional Committee meeting in Geneva got under way on October 30.