New UN envoy embarks on 1st visit to Syria

Damascus: The newly-appointed UN special envoy to Syria made his first visit to the war-torn country on Tuesday since he assumed the post.

Geir Pedersen, who was appointed after his predecessor Staffan de Mistura stepped down in November, became the fourth envoy to take on the role since the Syrian conflict erupted in 2011, Efe news reported.

“UN special envoy Geir Pedersen arrived in Damascus and looking forward to productive meetings here,” a tweet on his account said.

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The Norwegian diplomat was expected to discuss with Syrian leaders the formation of a UN-backed constitutional committee, an issue that was left pending by De Mistura who resigned after four years of unsuccessful efforts to resolve the Syrian conflict.

Ayman Soussan, assistant of the Syrian Foreign Minister, was cited by pro-goernment al-Watan newspaper as saying the new envoy would achieve what his predecessors could not.

The Syrian government had expressed readiness to cooperate with the new UN envoy to make his mission a success, the newspaper said.


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