January 27, 2018 / 2:11 PM / 9 months ago

U.N. Syria mediator to attend peace conference in Russia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - United Nations Syria mediator Staffan de Mistura will attend a peace conference in Russia next week, the United Nations 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

“The Secretary-General is confident that the Congress in Sochi will be an important contribution to a revived intra-Syrian talks process under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement. 

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.

Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Mark Potter

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