Geneva Talks Essential Step for Political Resolution of Syria Conflict

European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini hailed the resumption of talks on Syria in Geneva, Switzerland.

In a statement released on Friday, she said the recommencement of the negotiations represents an essential step on the road to finding a political solution to the conflict in Syria.

That conflict is entering its seventh year - a demonstration in itself that there can be no lasting military solution to it, Mogherini said.

“The ceasefire agreement signed in Astana must be fully implemented, the guarantors need to ensure that it is respected through the trilateral monitoring mechanism.  All parties and actors must protect the civilian population and allow full and unhindered humanitarian access to those in need in all areas.

“The European Union remains firmly committed to support the efforts of the UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura in the new round of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva to facilitate negotiations between the parties.”

She also said that an EU-hosted conference on “Supporting the future of Syria and the Region” in Brussels on 5 April will aim to strengthen international support for the Geneva talks, ensure adequate funding for the humanitarian needs of the region and reinforce support for the neighboring countries that are bearing a heavy burden from the conflict.

A new round of peace talks in Geneva began on Thursday. 

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011.

The UN envoy for Syria estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict. The UN has stopped its official casualty count in Syria, citing its inability to verify the figures it receives from various sources.

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