The office of UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura has announced the diplomat will not participate in the upcoming Moscow II forum, stating that the level of his office’s representation is dependent on the details to be provided by Moscow.
The Russian Foreign Ministry recently announced delegates from the Syrian government will meet with representatives of the opposition between April 6-9 in Moscow. Consultative meetings were held in the Russian capital earlier this year in January.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said the Kremlin has distributed invitations to de Mistura and "a large number of opposition groups and bodies".
Director of de Mistura's office Khawla Matar said the representation of the office in the Moscow II forum for Syrian-Syrian dialogue remains under discussion.
In an interview with the Russian Sputnik news agency, Matar said: "Mr. de Mistura was invited by the Russian side, but he will not participate. There are now discussions in de Mistura's office about the level of participation or representation". Matar added: "The basic subject is that de Mistura's office continues discussions with the Russian side in order to understand the details of the Moscow meeting, and these details will determine the level of the office’s representation".
Matar's speech came after de Mistura's statement a month ago in which he expressed his belief that the "Moscow I meeting was very helpful, and I look forward to the second round of Moscow, because it helps to gather Syrians, both in the opposition and the government".
Matar added: "De Mistura's team is still working to find a political solution based on the Geneva I statement, and they are still moving in this direction. Let's see what will happen".
"The main concern in the UN envoy's office is to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people", Matar concluded.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer