UN special envoy meets Syrian opposition leader in Istanbul, seeks solution to conflict

ANADOLU AGENCY
ISTANBUL
Published 05.06.2015 15:23
Updated 05.06.2015 15:24

UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura met Syrian National Coalition President Khaled Khoja in Istanbul Thursday to search for a political solution to the Syrian conflict.

According to the statement released by the UN envoy's office, de Mistura heard the views of the Syrian opposition group regarding the implementation of the Geneva Communique. Both sides agreed on the importance and urgency of finding a political solution to the ongoing conflict in Syria, it added.

"My visit today demonstrates, once again, that the purpose of these consultations was and remains to give the chance to all Syrians to share their views of what a future Syria should look like," de Mistura said.

The Istanbul-based Syrian National Coalition was one of the main parties representing the Syrian opposition in the first and second Geneva conferences in 2012 and 2014, respectively. However, the group appeared to gradually lose touch with developments on the ground, particularly after the outbreak of ISIS that ravaged Iraq and Syria.

More than 200,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict between Bashar al-Assad's regime and opposition forces began in 2011, according to the UN.

The Geneva consultations on Syria are continuing on the level of ambassadors, representatives and experts.

More than 40 Syrian groups, including Syrian opposition armed groups, had been invited to the talks in Geneva.

The Bashar al-Assad Syrian administration, representatives of countries in Syria's neighborhood, and members of the UN Security Council had all been invited for discussions in Geneva, which started on May 12 and are expected to last up to six weeks.

But, at least 30 Syrian opposition armed groups have rejected the UN invitation for talks, de Mistura spokeswoman said.

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