UN envoy says next phase in Syria talks 'crucial'

UN peace envoy Staffan de Mistura arrived in Damascus to hold talks with Syrian officials on April 11, 2016The UN peace envoy to Syria said Monday in Damascus that an upcoming round of negotiations in Geneva aimed at ending the country’s five-year war would be “crucially important”. Staffan de Mistura’s comments came as offensives by Syria’s Al-Qaeda affiliate and allied rebels triggered a spike in violence that could endanger the negotiations. “The Geneva talks’ next phase are crucially important because we will be focusing in particular on the political transition, on governance and constitutional principles,” de Mistura told reporters after meeting Foreign Minister Walid Muallem.

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