UNITED NATIONS – The U.N. special envoy on Syria is warning the Security Council that a new series of talks on the conflict that begin next month in Geneva should not be seen as negotiations toward a peace deal.
Diplomats say Staffan de Mistura told the council Friday that he sees little new willingness from the parties involved to negotiate. The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the close-door meeting.
De Mistura intends to meet separately with a range of parties to see if they are ready to move on to talks toward finding an end to the conflict now in its fifth year.
A spokesman for de Mistura says Syria ally Iran has been invited but has not yet responded.
Previous talks on Syria have failed over disagreement on whether President Bashar Assad must go.