Syria talks ‘respectful’ but no agenda, date for next meet


The Constitutional Committee Co-Chair Hadi al-Bahra wearing face mask as precaution against the spread of the coronavirus speaks to reporters following the announcement of the suspension of the conference due to cases of Covid-19, affecting members of one of the delegations, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

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BERLIN (AP) — The U.N.’s special envoy for Syria said Saturday that the latest round of talks between the country’s opposing parties took place in a “respectful” tone and they are keen to meet again, but no agenda or date has been set for the next session.

“People were listening to each other,” Geir Pedersen told reporters in Geneva. “And that goes for all the three delegations.”

“Obviously there are still very strong disagreements,” Pedersen acknowledged, but the two co-chairs of the meeting had both said there were areas of common ground that could be built on.

“I’m confident that we have been able to build a little bit of confidence, a little bit of trust,” he said, though no concrete agreements on issues such as the release of prisoners had been achieved.

Delegations from the Syrian government, opposition and civil society had met in Geneva for a third round of talks this week, following a lengthy pause due to the coronavirus pandemic. Their goal is to work on a new constitution for the war-ravaged country.

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