Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said Monday it was too early to assess results of the fifth round of the Geneva talks on Syria. Gatilov’s remarks came upon his arrival to Geneva accompanied by Sergey Vershinin, the Director of the Middle East and North Africa Department at the Russian Foreign Ministry. He is expected to hold two meetings with the official delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic and representatives of “Moscow platform” opposition on Tuesday and a meeting with al-Riyadh opposition delegation on Wednesday.
Syria peace talks due to start this week in Geneva are based on the broad mandate of a U.N. resolution that asks the U.N. mediator to hold talks on a “political transition process”, an official involved in the talks said on Tuesday. Michael Contet, chief of staff of Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, told a regular U.N. briefing that de Mistura was putting the final touches to arrangements for the talks. “The invitations as well as the substantive agenda for the negotiations are all based on the wide scope of Security Council resolutions, in particular (U.N. Security Council Resolution) 2254, which is our main guidance in this process”.
As agreed in Switzerland, factions will seek a political solution to national unity by September. Continue the migration emergency: for IOM, the Sicilian Channel is the most dangerous route in the Mediterranean Sea.
Rapprochement in Geneva between different Libyan factions, including Tripoli government. In negotiations chaired by UN delegate Bernardino Leon, parties has unanimously declared to search a political solution of national unity within late August and early September. There is still no formal agreement, then. But, after July agreement reached in Algeria, now the Libyan National Congress could do its role. Although the greatest obstacle will be finding a meeting point between Misurata troops and General Haftar army.
Meanwhile, just two days ago, Prime Minister Abdullah al Thinni had announced his resignation at a Libyan TV. But, a few hours later, a spokesperson has denied the report.
There is, however, no time to lose in negotiations. In addition to the internal fight against Daesh, migration route to the Italian coast is hot. Over 2000 arrivals between Sicily and Calabria in the last three days. On 10 August, vessel Fiorillo of Italian Coast Guard was able to save at least 400 people. As well as more than 150 from Fenice of Italian Navy . Or the 450 migrants arrived at Augusta. And just as there have been many arrests of smugglers from the Italian authorities. The inhuman conditions and deaths at sea are a constant.
Number of deaths which is increasing compared to over 2,000 in early August, certified by the IOM. Compared to the Greek route, “the majority of migrants have lost their lives in the Sicilian Channel, along the central route of the Mediterranean linking Libya to Italy, “says the International Organization for Migration.
Strait of Sicily route is “disproportionately more dangerous than the other. Although Italy and Greece are both hit by migration flows very significant (approximately 97,000 and 90,500 respectively), mortality rates are very different: they were about 1,930 migrants died trying to reach Italy, as were about 60 migrants died en route to Greece. ”
“Despite these tragedies, the IOM recognizes the extraordinary efforts of the naval forces in the Mediterranean, which continue to save lives every day. The number of deaths has decreased significantly in recent months and this is largely due to the strengthening of the operation Triton: the Mediterranean is now patrolled by a larger number of vessels that can push up to where there are requests for help ” .
“They are almost 188,000 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean so far and IOM strongly supports the continuation of these activities. The organization believes that the number of migrants arriving in the coming months and that will increase the threshold of 200,000 will be reached very soon, ” the IOM statement ended.