United Nations envoy urges Putin to press for Syria elections

Nasr Al Hariri, the head of the unified Syrian opposition delegation attends a round of negotiations with UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura (not

"We can talk about having won the territorial war, which is temporary, but the peace also needs to be won and for that there needs to be the courage to push the government to accept" new elections, which De Mistura said should be monitored by the UN.

Opposition spokesman Yahya Aridi said on Tuesday that the Damascus delegation told United Nations envoy Staffan de Mistura they won't negotiate directly.

U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura urged Russian Federation on Wednesday to convince its ally the Syrian government of the need to clinch a peace deal to end the almost seven-year-old war. There was no immediate response from the government team in Switzerland.

Talks this month, the eight round of UN-brokered negotiations between the Syrian government and rebel factions, have snagged on the issue of Assad's future, with a rebel alliance insisting the president must go as part of any peace deal.

Aridi says the opposition delegates "consider this to be a precondition". "The regime is not interested in getting involved in the political process, our priority is making Syria a safe place to come home to", Aridi warned. The unified opposition accepted the offer but the regime delegation refused.

This eighth round of peace talks will continue to December 14.

The event will feature Syrian opposition and civil society women - including an eyewitness account from inside Eastern Ghouta - to discuss the urgent action needed to address the humanitarian catastrophe in the suburb and protect Syrian civilians across Syria.

Damascus has regained control of much of Syria with the support of Russian air cover.

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