US Secretary of Defense: National dialog congress on Syria failed

US Defense Secretary James Mattis said that the participants in the Syrian national dialog congress were unable to achieve any result.

According to him, the negotiations need to continue in Geneva, where UN Special Envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura is now heading.

“You see that it didn’t work out in Sochi, and I think this is the most polite way of describing the result. They – Staffan de Mistura and the UN – are on their way to Geneva,” the US Defense Secretary commented.

He emphasized that all parties in the dialog now want to return to the task of eliminating the Islamic State so that the Geneva process can proceed more freely and productively.

UN Secretary General António Guterres said that progress in the Syrian political process, and the decisions of the congress in Sochi in particular, must be accompanied by an improvement in the situation in Syria itself. However, “new, extremely alarming reports of the supposed use of chemical weapons” are still coming from there, and many of the country’s inhabitants are still starving and lacking medical assistance.

He pointed out that the concluding statement at Sochi confirmed that the Syrian Constitutional Committee will be formed under the auspices of the UN, and also specified that this committee’s mandate, rules, procedures and member selection criteria will be agreed on during the negotiations in Geneva.

  Syria, James Mattis