A “step for step” approach is necessary to find a political solution to Syria’s decade-long crisis, United Nations Special Envoy Geir Pedersen said on Sunday.
Following talks held with the Assad regime in Damascus, the UN envoy said “I think there is a possibility now to start to explore what I call ‘a step for step’ approach, where you put on the table steps that is defined with precisions, that is verifiable, that hopefully can start to build some trust.”
The discussion with the Assad regime centered on “challenges facing Syria, in terms of the military, economic, and humanitarian situations.”
“It can be said that there are opportunities to relaunch the political process,” Pedersen said, describing his discussions as “useful and profound.”
“My message is that there is another possibility to start to explore possible avenues, to start to move forward on this process,” he told journalists.
“I think we should now analyze not only the Arabs but also the Turkish, American, European, Russian, and Iranian positions,” he added.
The UN-brokered negotiations in Geneva were installed in 2019 to arrive at a new constitution. Composed of 45 people – 15 delegates each representing the Assad regime, the opposition and civil society – the negotiation committee has since made little headway.
Syria’s war has killed around 500,000 people and displaced millions.
Throughout the civil war, the UN has been striving to nurture a political resolution. The new approach called “step-by-step” is aiming to push the Assad regime to make progress on reaching a political solution.