January 27, 2018 / 12:03 AM / 5 months ago

U.N. has yet to decide whether to attend Russian talks on Syria: Mistura

VIENNA (Reuters) - U.N.-brokered peace talks in Vienna between the Syrian government and opposition have ended, and the United Nations has yet to decide whether to attend a peace conference in Russia next week, the host of the Vienna talks said on Saturday.

UN envoy Staffan de Mistura (C) looks on before the start of talks on Syria in Vienna on January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Alex Halada/Pool

Western powers and some Arab states believe the conference in Sochi is an attempt to create a separate peace process that would undermine the United Nations’ efforts and lay the groundwork for a solution more suitable to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies Russia and Iran.

“The secretary general, Antonio Guterres, is being briefed and will be briefed tonight on the outcome of these Vienna discussions. Then it will be up to him to take the decision what will be the U.N. response to the invitation to attend Sochi,” U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said in a statement to reporters.

Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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