Transcript of Press Stakeout of United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Mr. Geir O. Pedersen After Meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Mr. Faisal Mikdad
Question: What about your discussions with Mr. Mikdad, what’s new about these discussions?
Mr. Pedersen: Thank you. Let me start by saying that we had very thorough in-depth discussions on all the aspects of the Syrian crisis. So, obviously today we discussed my mandate, this is the implementation of Security Council resolution 2254, and of course it is important for me to hear that the government is still committed to Security Council resolution 2254.
And then we went into quite some detail on discussions on the need for progress on the Constitutional Committee. And I must say that after my discussion today, I’m more optimistic that it will be possible to convene the seventh round of the drafting body of the Constitutional Committee, hopefully sometime in March.
I will be having a meeting with Dr. Kuzbari later today and after that I will be speaking to the SNC, the opposition, and then hopefully we will be able to send out an invitation. But there are, I need a couple more rounds of discussion and then hopefully we can conclude on that.
Question: How can you describe this discussion?
Mr. Pedersen: I went through and explained in quite some detail the discussions I have had with the government delegation and with the SNC delegation and then what was the outstanding issues. And as you know, the outstanding issue is to agree on how we can move forward on day number five on the Constitutional Committee. We have an agreement on how to deal with the first four days and I’m now optimistic, as I said, that we may also have an agreement on the fifth day.
Then of course the second big topic of the meeting today was the consultations I have started in Geneva on the step-for step, and I spent some time explaining to his excellency the Foreign Minister the idea behind this concept, the consultations I have had so far with the Russians, the Europeans, the Americans and many others and also my interest in continuing these discussions with the Government of Syria and also of course with the opposition. And we agreed that we would continue this discussion.
Thank you so much, all the best.