Vienna Talks: New Elections Will Be Held in Syria within 18 Months

Sun Nov 15, 2015 09:37:45

The political process is key to solving the crisis in Syria, participants at the Vienna talks on the Syrian peace process have agreed. They have set a timeframe for Syrian government and opposition forces to create a joint group to work towards a new constitution.

"Governmental and “the whole spectrum of opposition forces” should gather together no later than January 1, 2016, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced at a press-conference in the Austrian capital, following Saturday’s talks. The UN and its Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura have been tasked with supervising the creation of such a group, Lavrov said."

The Syrian forces to be represented by a transitional body, the so-called “government of national unity,” should work on a new draft constitution and hold new elections within the next 18 months, Lavrov said.

“This will be a Syrian-led process,” and only Syrians themselves can choose their country’s future, the Russian diplomat said after the meeting, which was held in a somber atmosphere following Friday’s terror attacks in Paris that claimed over a hundred lives.

Lavrov and his US counterpart John Kerry have been “a great inspiration” in the “productive” Vienna meeting, Staffan de Mistura said.

“To those in Paris yesterday who have planned through that horror to actually influence or depress the intention of the international community in doing something constructive in Syria, the response was today,” the UN official said.

"The UN is ready to assist with the political process starting "at any time," de Mistura told journalists, adding that he had been informed by the Syrian government that they were ready with their representative delegation. “The opposition needs to come up and we will help them,” he said."

Not everyone in the region is ready for an immediate ceasefire, he added, but mentioned that it has been agreed that the violence should come to an end and be “parallel” to the process of political transition. “Momentum is the key word,” the UN official said.

The ceasefire does not apply to terrorist organizations in the region, including ISIS and Al-Nusra Front; RT reported.


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