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UN urges Syria regime to make proposals on political transition ‘next week’

The UN’s Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura on Friday urged the Damascus regime to make clear proposals on a political transition in the war-ravaged country “next week” at peace talks in Geneva.

“I hope next week … that we will get their opinion, their details, on how they see the political transition taking place”, de Mistura told reporters as he wrapped up a week of negotiations.

“I can tell you I am urging them (to produce) a paper on the transition,” he added.

He made the comments after his meeting the main opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC), which followed talks with the government earlier Friday.

The UN envoy restated his praise of the HNC for submitting a detailed proposal outlining its vision for a new Syrian government to lead the country out of five years of brutal conflict.

But he said he had not yet received detailed proposals from the Syrian government’s side.

“The government is currently focused on principles,” rather than concrete proposals de Mistura said, but noted that the regime’s submissions could ultimately prove helpful in terms of finding common ground between the two sides.

“I am still, obviously, detecting large distances,” between the regime and the opposition, the UN envoy further said.

But, he added, that he was “not disappointed” and there have been “no walk outs, no excessive rhetoric (and) no breakdowns.”

“I am just pushing. That’s my job … We are in a hurry.”