December 14, 2017
The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria has urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to “have the courage” to push Syria toward free elections.
Staffan de Mistura has been overseeing Syrian peace negotiations for nearly two years.
Putin is currently scaling down Russia’s military presence in Syria, and is extremely influential in the peace process.
De Mistura also said it is “regrettable” Syrain President Bashar al-Assad has not engaged in talks with the opposition party.
A spokesperson for Syria’s opposition party claims Assad has no interest to engage in peace talks,and also urged Russia to get involved.
“We know, and we hope, that Mr. Putin is keen for making this process here in Geneva successful and if there were any attempts on the part of Russia to contribute to the success of this process we hope that this is what they are after,” said Yahya Arid, a spokesman for the Opposition Party.
The eighth round of peace talks in Geneva is set to conclude on Friday.
Putin is expected to hold more peace talks next week that will include Iran and Turkey