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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

In Damascus, UN special envoy meets senior Syrian officials on political solution to crisis

23 July 2015 – Wrapping up his tour of the region, the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura visited Damascus today, where he met with senior Government officials on ways to maintain momentum towards a political solution to the crisis in the country, which is entering its fifth year.

A statement issued by his spokesperson in Geneva explained that while in the Syrian capital, Mr. de Mistura discussed with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Walid Mouallem and Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad the preliminary findings of the mist recent round of UN-facilitated Geneva consultations and the preparations for the UN Security Council's debate on the situation in Syria, next Wednesday, 29 July, in New York.

"The meeting was focused on how to maintain a momentum on the search for a political solution to the long-lasting Syrian conflict," said that statement, which added that Mr. de Mistura, having concluded his regional tour, is now planning to return to New York to brief the Secretary-General and, based on this, to prepare for a discussion at the Security Council on the Syrian conflict.

At the end of June, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement marking the third anniversary of the so-called Geneva Communiqué, which was adopted in 2012 after the first international meeting on finding a political solution to the crisis, was since endorsed by the Security Council, and which formed the basis of the most recent consultations being facilitated by Mr. de Mistura.

In that statement, Mr. Ban said the international community should be ashamed that three years since the adoption of the Communiqué, Syria's "cataclysmic conflict" continues unabated, with more than 200,000 people killed and millions more displaced.

"The suffering of the Syrian people continues to plumb new depths," he said, stressing that country is "on the brink of falling apart…putting at risk what is already one of the most unstable regions in the world."

The Geneva Communiqué lays out key steps in a process to end the violence. Among others, it calls for the establishment of a transitional governing body, with full executive powers and made up by members of the present Government and the opposition and other groups, as part of agreed principles and guidelines for a Syrian-led political transition.

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