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Small Group on Syria Meets in Geneva

Small Group on Syria Meets in Geneva

Friday, 13 September, 2019 - 06:45
In this April 30, 2019 file photo, United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen gestures as he speaks to the media following a UN Security Council meeting on Syria at UN headquarters. Reuters

UN Syria envoy Geir Pedersen hosted on Thursday envoys from Britain, Egypt, France, Germany, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United States for talks on the Syrian crisis.

The meeting of the so-called "small group" of nations aims to prepare for a meeting at the level of foreign ministers in New York on Sept. 26, on the sidelines of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly.

The Italian AKI news agency quoted sources on Thursday as saying that Pedersen plans to visit Damascus in the next few days ahead of a tripartite summit held by the guarantors of the Sochi agreement, Turkey, Russia and Iran, in the Turkish capital on Sept. 16 to discuss the Syrian constitutional committee.

However, the sources said Damascus has still not responded to the request of Pedersen, who asked to meet Syrian officials and discuss some points still seriously hindering the committee’s formation.

Pedersen stated last month that the committee might begin its work by late September.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Negotiation Committee said on its official Twitter account that its head, Nasr al-Hariri, met on Thursday with Pedersen in Geneva to discuss the situation in the province of Idlib.

“The meeting discussed the latest developments related to the political process in Syria, including the formation of the constitutional committee and the need to find a clear mechanism for its operation and mission,” the statement said.

The SNC added that the two men also discussed the issue of hostages.

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