Staffan de Mistura, the U.N. envoy to Syria, has said a solution to the conflict is impossible without the inclusion of Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Russia in talks to end the war.
“Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Russia must be part of the talks, as there isn’t enough of a critical mass without them to achieve a solution,” de Mistura said on Feb. 2, delivering a presentation about the situation in the war-torn country at the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.
Reaching a solution in Syria may be “mission impossible,” but it needs to be done, according to the envoy, who recently participated in talks between the Syrian regime and the opposition in Moscow.
“There is no golden formula [to] mission impossible … but [finding a solution] needs to be done,” de Mistura told the European Parliament in Brussels.
“As there can be no military solution in Syria, the only way to solve the current situation is to reach an inclusive agreement with all parties involved – Alawites, Sunnis, Christians, Kurds – and the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, because his regime still controls 50 percent of the country and the population,” he added.
The first aim in a situation “that could spread to Lebanon,” de Mistura stressed, must be a “freeze of the conflict” in Aleppo, which would allow the isolation of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Nusra, the local al-Qaeda affiliate fighting with opposition forces. On ISIL, de Mistura suggested that its growth “could also be an opportunity,” as it raised the level of alarm for other regional powers.
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