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Latest round of Syria peace talks kick off in Geneva
May 18,2017   By:Xinhua
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GENEVA, May 18, 2017 -- The director of the United Nations Information Service in Geneva announced that intra-Syrian negotiations seeking to broker a political end to the six-year conflict kicked off here Tuesday as planned.
 
"The delegation of the Syrian government has arrived this morning at ten o'clock for a bilateral meeting with the special envoy for Syria as planned," Alessandra Vellucci told press here.
 
"The special envoy is looking forward to engaging with the delegations throughout the week," she added.
 
UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura recently confirmed that UN-mediated talks between rival delegations are to focus on governance, a new constitution, elections and the war on terrorism.
 
The diplomat also stated that negotiations will be shorter and more business-like than usual, with this round of talks slated to end either this Friday or Saturday.
 
The latest round of intra-Syrian peace talks will be the third to take place between warring factions since the start of this year.
 
While some progress on the humanitarian front has been achieved, opposing delegations remain at odds as to what a future, peaceful Syria, might look like.
 
De Mistura's job is to help bridge deep-seated gaps between rival factions, while ensuring that any outcome is in line with UN Security Council resolutions.
 
Despite the lack of headway on the political track, the UN stands by its commitment to pursue peace through political negotiations to prevent further bloodshed in a country where as many as 400,000 people have died and millions more have fled their homes.