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Verbatim transcript of stakeout by UN Special Envoy for Syria following his meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem

11 April 2016

Good afternoon everyone. I just ended some talks and discussions with His Excellency the Foreign Minister (Walid) Muallem and his team. The purpose was to discuss the preparation of the Geneva talks. The Geneva talks which we are planning to start, as you know, on the 13th of April, upon my return from this regional trip.

The Geneva talks’ next phase are crucially important, are crucially important, because we will be focusing in particular on political transition, on governance, and constitutional principles. We hope and plan to make them constructive and we plan to make them concrete.

We did also of course raise and discuss the issue about humanitarian access, and increased humanitarian access to all besieged areas and to all Syrians. In that context I notice now with you how promising has been and how meaningful has been the successful air drops in Deir ez Zor yesterday by the World Food Programme. It was an initiative of the international community in fact every country has been involved in supporting WFP on it to reach 200,000 people in a besieged area, and shows our determination in trying to reach everywhere, wherever we can, even through complicated means such as air dropping.

And last but not least, we did raise and discuss the importance of protecting and maintaining and supporting the cessation of hostilities, which is, as you know, fragile but is there and we need to make sure that it continues to be sustained even when there are incidents to be contained.

That was basically what we discussed today.
Thank you very much.