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U.N. envoy calls for avoiding collapse of Syria talks

U.N. mediator for Syria Staffan de Mistura gestures during a news conference after a meeting with the Syrian High Negotiations Committee (HNC) during peace talks at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, February 1, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

GENEVA (Reuters) - A complete failure of the Syria peace talks is “always possible”, but all efforts must be made to resolve the devastating conflict, the U.N. Special Envoy said on Tuesday.

Staffan de Mistura, in an interview with Swiss television RTS, said that he would meet “different delegations” on Wednesday, without naming them, and that Russia and the United States both had an interest in resolving the five-year conflict.

De Mistura, asked whether the negotiations in Geneva could be a complete failure, replied: “It is always possible, particularly after five years of a horrible war, where the sides hate each other, where there is a huge lack of confidence.

“If there is a failure this time after we tried twice at conferences in Geneva, for Syria there will be no more hope. We must absolutely try to ensure that there is no failure.”

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Alison Williams