U.N. sets August date to resume Syria peace talks

Jul 27, 2016, 12:57 AM EDT
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura
(Source: United States Mission Geneva/flickr)

U.N. special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said he hoped the stalled peace talks in Syria would resume next month even as intense air strikes killed dozens of people in Aleppo on Monday. De Mistura added that the U.N. would continue to play the role of a mediator in the third round of intra-Syrian peace talks, addressing all the difficult issues related to the negotiations.

De Mistura’s remarks came after a closed-door meeting with U.S. and Russian officials in Geneva, writes Al Jazeera. The opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (H.N.C.), which had earlier quit the talks demanding implementation of ceasefires, the lifting of sieges and access to humanitarian aid, said there was “no progress on the ground” to convince the opposition to participate in the negotiations.

In a renewed push to restart peace talks in Syria, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Washington and Moscow have agreed to work more closely and share intelligence for coordinating air strikes against the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front in Syria, notes Reuters.

A senior Western diplomat questioned the proposed military cooperation between the U.S. and Russia, saying that the increased targeting of civilians and hospitals on the ground suggested that Moscow was unlikely to honor a new deal.