July 10, 2017 / 3:12 PM / 14 days ago

U.N. sees strong chance for Syria deal, but warns on partition risk

1 Min Read

United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura attends a news conference during the Intra Syria talks at the U.N. offices in Geneva, Switzerland, May 19, 2017.Pierre Albouy/Files

GENEVA (Reuters) - Agreements to de-escalate the fighting in Syria could simplify the conflict and lead to a phase of stabilising the country, but such deals must be an interim measure and avoid partition, U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura told a news conference on Monday.

Speaking at the start of five days of peace talks in Geneva, de Mistura said discussions were happening in Amman to monitor implementation of a U.S.-Russian brokered ceasefire for southwest Syria, the first peacemaking effort of the war by the U.S. government under President Donald Trump.

"The agreement is basically broadly holding, quite well. In all agreements there is a period of adjustment, we are watching very carefully," de Mistura said. "But we can say we believe it has fairly good chances of working out."

Reporting by Tom Miles and Stephanie Nebehay

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