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Syrian peace talks end with clear agenda, says United Nations envoy

Syrian peace talks end with clear agenda, says United Nations envoy

In his first remarks since talks ended on Friday, Syria's ambassador to the UN Bashar al-Ja'afari said the agenda agreed through UN mediator Staffan de Mistura gave equal weight to four subjects, including the government's own priority of fighting terrorism.

"The train is ready, it's in the station, it's warming up its engine", he said.

The latest round of the Syrian peace talks has concluded in the Swiss city of Geneva, with the United Nations hailing the negotiations as "substantive" and yielding a "clear agenda" for the future of the war-ravaged Arab country.

Counter-terrorism was added as a "fourth basket" to round five of the talks, de Mistura confirmed, alongside efforts to establish a "credible, inclusive government", drafting a new constitution and holding free and fair elections.

The UN special envoy reiterated that the negotiations should facilitate humanitarian access to the Arab country, adding that he would travel to NY in the next few days to brief UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on the outcome of the talks, dubbed Geneva 4.

"The global community must speak out.to put an end to the ongoing massacres that have been taking place in Syria for six years now", said al-Hariri.

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"This did not come as a surprise because some members of the Riyadh delegation include members of terrorist armed groups", he said.

The United Nations-facilitated intra-Syrian talks are "moving in the right direction", the UN Special Envoy for Syria said today, wrapping up the latest round of discussions in Geneva with counter-terrorism added to the agenda and plans to resume in late March.

The Geneva negotiations, the first since last April, aimed at ending a conflict that began in March 2011 with protests against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The bar was set so low by De Mistura, who started the talks saying he expected no breakthroughs, that just keeping everyone at the table was viewed as an achievement.

Damascus sought a unified Syrian opposition.

He also said that pending discussions with the UN Secretary-General as well as the UN Security Council next week, he hopes to reconvene with warring Syrian parties at the end of the month.

Chief opposition negotiator Nasr al-Hariri said, "Although we are closing this round without clear results".

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