UN Special Envoy to Syria Geir Pedersen will arrive in Damascus in mid-February, with the aim of trying to facilitate a rapprochement between Syria and Western countries by discussing his previously announced “step-for-step” initiative.
A Western diplomatic source in Geneva, who preferred not to be named, told Al-Watan: “Pedersen’s initiative would reduce the sanctions imposed on Syria, which first and foremost harm the Syrian people, without specifying what steps are required from each side.”
“Pedersen will visit Damascus without bringing news of any significant developments regarding the political process and Resolution 2254, especially since Moscow refuses to visit Geneva due to Swiss measures taken against Russia and its diplomats,” the source said. “Also, Pedersen refuses to hold the intra-Syrian dialogue in any other city that was proposed to him.”
“Damascus does not object to Pedersen’s visit, as every time he has asked to visit, he is welcomed,” the source continued. “Syria stands in solidarity with Russia in its decision to boycott the meetings in Geneva, especially since Moscow is a key sponsor of the intra-Syrian dialogue.”
During last week’s United Nations Security Council session on Syria, Pedersen announced that “a political solution in Syria is becoming more complex,” pointing out that a comprehensive political solution will not arrive imminently.
Pedersen’s remarks coincided with his meeting, held in the United States, with representatives of France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States to discuss the Syrian issue. Pedersen also met with a group of members of the opposition’s “negotiating body.” On this matter, the newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi quoted a confidential source from the negotiating body as saying: “Pedersen’s quiver is empty, and there are many obstacles to a political solution in Syria.” The source considered that there was no hope for any political solution.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.