European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has described as “very good” the latest round of international talks on the Syrian crisis in Vienna.
“The process can definitively start” toward reaching a settlement for the nearly five-year conflict in Syria, Mogherini told journalists at the end of the day-long talks held in the Austrian capital on Saturday.
The fresh round of talks on the Syrian crisis opened in Vienna with the participation of senior representatives from 17 countries, the UN, EU and Arab League.
Ceasefire by year end: German FM
Also speaking following the talks, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the Vienna meeting had resulted in an agreement to convene meetings between the opposition and the government of President Bashar al-Assad and establish a ceasefire by January 1.
“No one is lying to themselves about the difficulties we are facing, but the determination to find a solution has progressed in 14 days,” since the first round of talks in Vienna.
“It still appears Utopian but we have all the powers around the table,” said Steinmeier.
He also claimed that there will be efforts to create a new constitution for the war-torn country and attempts to create a transitional government within six months.
Steinmeier’s remarks came as a Syrian daily, close to Assad’s ruling Baath party, had on November 12 dismissed as “premature” any plan to hold early presidential elections, amend the constitution or set up a transition period for the crisis-hit country.
New Syria meeting in one month
World diplomats seeking to find a solution to the Syrian crisis would meet again in “approximately one month” to review progress towards a ceasefire and the start of a political process in the crisis-hit country, said an official statement issued at the end of the Vienna talks in Saturday.
According to the joint statement released by the United Nations, the participants agreed on a set calendar for a transition government in Syria within six months and elections in 18 months.
The negotiations between the Syrian sides are to establish “credible, inclusive and nonsectarian” transitional government that would set a schedule for drafting a new constitution within six months, the statement said.
It added that a free and fair election would then be held within 18 months under the supervision of the United Nations.
By Press TV