UN Syria envoy to host top envoys from Russia, Turkey, Iran

U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura speaks to the media after his meeting with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi in Amman, Jordan, December 10, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 17 December 2018
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UN Syria envoy to host top envoys from Russia, Turkey, Iran

  • The talks scheduled for Tuesday in Geneva will likely be one of Staffan de Mistura’s last meetings with major players in the Syrian conflict

GENEVA: The outgoing UN envoy for Syria will meet top diplomats from Iran, Russia and Turkey this week, his office said Monday, in a final bid to make headway toward a new Syrian constitution.
The talks scheduled for Tuesday in Geneva will likely be one of Staffan de Mistura’s last meetings with major players in the Syrian conflict, as the veteran UN diplomat is due to step down in the coming days.
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov will attend, a spokesperson from his office said.
A Turkish diplomatic source told AFP that Ankara’s top envoy Mevlut Cavusoglu will be in Geneva along with Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
The UN did not immediately confirm the list of attendees.
The planned constitutional committee was agreed at a Russia-hosted conference in January.
The centerpiece of UN peace efforts in Syria, the committee would be tasked with negotiating a new post-war constitution that would pave the way to elections aimed at turning the page on seven years of devastating war.
But it has run into objections from the Syrian government.
The opposition has pushed for an entirely new constitution, but Damascus has said it will only discuss altering the current one.
In October, Damascus rejected a list presented by de Mistura of 50 civil society representatives and technical experts.


Iranian opposition groups protest in Brussels

Updated 15 June 2019
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Iranian opposition groups protest in Brussels

LONDON: Iranian opposition groups protested outside the Council of the European Union in Brussels on Saturday against the regime in Tehran.
The protests mark the upcoming anniversary of protests in 1981, when the People’s Mujahedin of Iran demonstrated against the impeachment of the then president Abolhassan Banisadr.
Several European politicians, including the former Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi and the former Vice President of the European Parliament Alejo Vidal-Quadras, gave speeches at the protest in support of the Iranian opposition.
The President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran Maryam Rajavi called on the “EU to designate the mullahs’ Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and their Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) as terrorist entities.”
She also said that the Iranian “regime’s mercenaries must be tried, punished and expelled.”
Rajavi also saluted “supporters of the Iranian people’s Resistance, and the Human Rights advocates who have come from various European and Arab countries.”