United Nations Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria Staffan de Mistura - Reuters
GENEVA - 11 July 2017: UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said Monday the new round of Geneva talks on Syria is part of a comprehensive approach.
In a press conference, de Mistura hailed Astana talks' great work in setting a number of targets through a mechanism of monitoring de-escalation zones and easing tension.
There are still some complex issues, but the parties have a great opportunity to implement a range of agreements, he added.
The UN envoy said a US and Russia-brokered cease-fire in the country's southwest was generally holding despite some teething problems, adding he hope it would contribute positively to talks between the government and opposition.
"We believe that de-escalation will be contributing to not only the talks in Geneva and in Astana of course but will also reassure the Syrian people that while we are talking the people are not going to die because of bombs," ABC News quoted de Mistura as saying.
The UN envoy ruled out any breakthrough at this week's negotiations to end the war in Syria, but he pointed to the ceasefire brokered with US and Russian help as one source of hope.
"There is a higher potential than we have seen in the past for progress," de Mistura said.
"What I can tell you is that we are seeing several stars coinciding in a certain direction, both on the ground, regionally and internationally," he added.