Syria says ready to cooperate with new UN envoy

Geir Pedersen is set to assume the role at the end of November. (File/AFP)
Updated 04 November 2018

Syria says ready to cooperate with new UN envoy

  • Geir Pedersen is the fourth negotiator to have been appointed the UN’s special envoy to Syria since the country’s war broke out in 2011

DAMASCUS: Syria is ready to cooperate with new UN envoy Geir Pedersen as long as he avoids the methods of his predecessor, its deputy foreign minister said in remarks published Sunday.
Pedersen, who assumes the role at the end of November, is the fourth negotiator to have been appointed the UN’s special envoy to Syria since the country’s war broke out in 2011.
A seasoned Norwegian diplomat, he replaces Staffan de Mistura, who announced he is leaving the post last month after a four-year stint.
“Syria will cooperate with the new UN envoy Geir Pedersen provided he avoids the methods of his predecessor,” Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Al-Meqdad said, quoted by Al-Watan newspaper.
It would work with him if “he announces his support for the unity of Syria’s land and people and does not side with the terrorists as his predecessor did,” he added, referring to rebel groups.
The regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad has long accused de Mistura of bias during his tenure.
Its opponents have said the change in UN envoy would have little impact on the fate of the country as international will and consensus were lacking.
Yahya Al-Aridi, spokesman for the Syrian Negotiations Commission, this week told AFP he hoped Pedersen would be “more decisive” and call things out for what they are.
De Mistura, an Italian-Swedish diplomat, announced he was stepping down to spend more time with his family after four years in the demanding post.
He had been appointed in July 2014 after veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi resigned following two years in the position.
Brahimi stepped in after late UN chief Kofi Annan quit just six months into the role which he described as “mission impossible.”
Pedersen was a member of the Norwegian team to the secret negotiations that led to the signing of the 1993 Oslo accords between Israel and the Palestinians.


Jordan set for third phase of public sector work resumption

Updated 33 min 30 sec ago

Jordan set for third phase of public sector work resumption

  • Public institutions should be ready to receive all employees over the entire week

DUBAI: Jordan’s third phase of work resumption in the public sector will begin next week, state news agency Petra reported.
Public institutions should be ready to receive all employees over the entire week, the report added, citing the Civil Service Bureau President Sameh Al-Nasser.
Some employees will be asked not to work from the office, such as those who have medical records, pregnant and breastfeeding, Al-Nasser added.
He also urged workers to comply with the precautionary measures set by the Ministry of Health and relevant authorities.