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UN Security Council fails to agree on joint Syria declaration

United Nations (UN) Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen speaks during a press conference at the UN Geneva Office in Geneva, Switzerland on 21 August 2020. [Bayram Altuğ - Anadolu Agency]
United Nations (UN) Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen speaks during a press conference at the UN Geneva Office in Geneva, Switzerland on 21 August 2020. [Bayram Altuğ - Anadolu Agency]

The UN Security Council has failed to agree on a joint declaration for Syria, further delaying the peace process to settle the ongoing conflict in the country. According to France 24 which cited diplomats at the meetings, the Syrian regime's ally Russia repeatedly blocked negotiations on the joint declaration.

Moscow had reportedly been making unacceptable demands. One diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity said that the Russians are asking too much.

"The current divisions in the international community need to be bridged," UN special envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen told journalists. "Without constructive international diplomacy… it is unlikely that any track – constitutional track or any other — will really move forward."

Since the Syrian civil war erupted in 2011 following the regime's brutal crackdown on peaceful protestors, a series of peace talks have been held in the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, sponsored by Russia, and in Geneva led by the UN. All have so far been unsuccessful.

READ: Even illegitimate elections will allow global powers to deal with the Assad regime

In 2019, a Constitutional Committee was created by the UN to update and improve the Syrian constitution as part of the efforts to bring all factions together. The fifth session of that committee took place last month, gathering together representatives from the Assad regime, the Syrian opposition and civil society. That effort also floundered, however, and Pederson lamented that it "was a missed opportunity and disappointment."

The failure of the talks, according to the UN official, was due to the "lack of trust and confidence and a lack of will to compromise, and a lack of political space to compromise too."

Estonia's Ambassador to the UN, Sven Jurgenson, criticised the lack of progress. "It is clear to everyone that the Syrian government has just taken advantage of these meetings to delay any real reconciliation," he claimed. "The aim was not to create a debating club, but to give Syrian people a way out from a 10-year-long conflict."

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International OrganisationsMiddle EastNewsSyriaUN
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