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Transcript of Press Stakeout by UN Special Envoy for Syria, Geir O. Pedersen, following Astana 12 meeting

26 April 2019

SE: First of all, as you know, I was here to have consultations with the Astana Guarantors - so I had good discussions with the Russians, the Iranians and the Turks and also with others. And of course we did not expect before we came to have an agreement on the Constitutional Committee, but to continue the good discussions we had already - not only with Turkey, Iran and Russia - but of course also the consultations I had with the Syrian government, and the Syrian opposition. So, what I hoped to achieve here was to exchange views, to compare notes and then to make some progress - and I think it is fair to say that yes, we have achieved some progress then I hope to be able to move forward soon.

After these meetings here, I will be travelling to New York to brief the Security Council on the 30th of April, and then we will have, as you know, different meetings in Geneva, and I am looking forward also to meeting with Turkey, Russia and Iran in Geneva, and as you know they have accepted my invitation and I am looking very much forward to those discussions.

Question: In how many weeks do you expect to (inaudible)
SE: Very difficult to discuss, you know, precise weeks here.

Question: You were saying that the solution for the list of Constitutional Committee names is going to take too much time, like two months I think.
SE: No as I said we were here to try to compare notes and to make further progress and I do believe that we have made further progress and then I will continue my consultations with the Government, and with the Opposition and of course also with other international parties.

Question: I just want to ask you a question about the detainees file.
SE: Detainees? No particular progress, as you know - we made some progress also on that file, and we will continue to discuss the detainee issue and we have invited the next working group to come to see us in Geneva and we are very much looking forward to that and we hope for further progress.

Question: Do you think that there is enough pressure on the regime to (inaudible).
SE: That is all I am going to say for now. Thank you.

Question: What is your rating about this conference, the Astana 12?
SE: As I said I was hoping to come here to compare notes and to make further progress on the different issues related to implementation of the Security Council resolution 2254 and I do believe that we have made some important progress and I am looking forward to continuing this dialogue, I will be first going to New York to brief the Security Council there and then I will have different meetings with Geneva with different international actors, including Russia, Turkey and Iran.

Question: (Inaudible)
SE: I am in discussion about the dates, we will see.

Thank you.


Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, 26 April 2019