The UN Security Council on Monday urged all Syrian parties to actively participate in the Geneva political process without preconditions and to support efforts to ensure its success.
Sebastiano Cardi, President of the Security Council, told reporters after closed-door consultations on Syria that the council reiterated that a political solution must be forged through the Geneva process.
The council members also stressed respect for Syria’s sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity, Cardi said.
Although the Syrian opposition has formed a unified group for Geneva talks following negotiations among them in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the Syrian government has not confirmed its attendance at the new round of Geneva talks.
“The meeting will start tomorrow and we really hope that all parties, including the Syrian government, will be present,” Cardi said.
Briefing Monday’s Security Council open meeting, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said the “moment of truth” has arrived for the Syria talks.
“The meeting will start tomorrow and we really hope that all parties, including the Syrian government, will be present,” he added.
Initially, he said, the participants should focus on a work plan, particularly on principles as well as the constitutional and election “baskets.” All other initiatives should support the UN mediation process, he said.
Asked by reporters to comment on the Syrian government’s failure to confirm its presence at the Geneva talks, chief UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said, “participation of the Syrian government is very important.”
Several diplomats at the UN also expressed their hope that the Geneva talks will be able to produce positive outcomes given the fact that the Syrian opposition has formed a unified negotiating committee.
French ambassador to the United Nations, Francois Delattre, saw a better chance for the Geneva talks as the Syrian opposition has reached a deal at the auspices of Saudi Arabia.
“We very much welcome the great progress achieved in Riyadh by the Syrian opposition to establish a unified, credible and pragmatic group that will be able to negotiate in Geneva,” he told reporters before walking into the Security Council chamber for the Syria meeting.
The important outcome in Riyadh helps reinforce the importance of the Geneva process and brings about a new chance and new opportunities, said Delattre.
He stressed that any political initiative must be compatible with the Geneva process in order to succeed.