War is the only option if Syria peace talks fail: UN envoy
UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria Staffan de Mistura speaks as he gestures during a new round of negotiations with the Syrian government at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, on March 14, 2016. (AFP/Salvatore di Nolfi)
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The only 'plan B' to the success of Syrian peace talks in Geneva is a return to war, a UN envoy warned on Monday.
Speaking at the beginning of a new round of Syria negotiations on Monday, UN envoy Staffan de Mistura said: "We should have at least a clear roadmap."
The three rounds of talks are expected to last until the end of May.
Regarding the possibility of failure of Syria talks, de Mistura said: "As far as l know, the only plan B available is a return to war and to the worst war we have [seen] so far."
"If, during these talks, and in the next rounds we see no notice of any willingness to negotiate...we will bring the issue back to those who have influence, and that is the Russian Federation, the U.S.A., co-chairs of the ISSG, and to the [UN] Security Council," de Mistura said.
De Mistura said he would meet delegations from the Syrian regime and the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) Task Force on Monday; he is expected to meet the Syrian opposition on Tuesday.
The UN envoy said the new talks’ focus would be on governance, a constitution and on holding presidential and parliamentary elections in 18 months.
De Mistura also condemned Sunday’s “horrific” bombing in Ankara.
By Fatih Erel