Transcript of the press briefing by the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Geir O. Pedersen, after his meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Mr. Faisal Mikdad – Syrian Arab Republic
Question: Mr. Pedersen: How would you describe the discussion?
Another question: Was it a long meeting, something good?
Mr. Pedersen: We had an extensive discussion, as you can understand, it lasted over two hours. We have looked at quite in detail all the challenges facing Syria, obviously we have looked at the military situation, the economic situation, the humanitarian situation and of course, the political process related to that.
** Question: Sir, what’s new on economic sanctions? A change about them? **
Mr. Pedersen: So what we discussed was the, I stressed the importance of what I see as the possibilities of new openings also for the political process. As you know, I have traveled a lot to some Arab countries, and have had extensive discussions with the Americans and with the Europeans, and we will follow up with others as well, and I see it is now possible to start exploring what I call a step-by-step approach – where we put on the table, you know, steps that are precisely defined, that are verifiable, and that hopefully can start to build a some confidence, and of course problems related to the humanitarian situation, the economic challenges in Syria will have to be an integral part of it.
We also, of course, as always, addressed the issue of detainees, abducted and missing persons, and then we also discussed the challenges of the Constitutional Commission, and as I said, it was in depth. and good discussion on all these questions.
Can you expect positive results?
Mr. Pedersen: We will see. I will now continue my discussions with the government-appointed co-chair for the Constitutional Committee and I will meet with him now, and then, of course, I will follow up also with the SNC and I hope we can have some positive news in a not so distant future.
Question: Is there a date for the next round?
Mr. Pedersen: Sorry, a date, there is no date yet.
Question: There are changes towards Syria, especially from Arab countries, will this help advance the political solution and why? “
Mr. Pedersen: I think, as I said, I think, that we should now analyze not only the Arabs, but also the American, European, Turkish, Russian, Iranian position and of course, also the development in Syria. And my message is that there is now an opportunity to start exploring possible avenues to start moving this process forward, and I hope to continue these consultations in Geneva in the near future as well.
Thank you very much, thank you.
Damascus, December 12, 2021