UAE minister of state for foreign affairs holds talks with US envoy for Syria

Dr Anwar Gargash reiterates UAE's willingness to help Syria return to peace

Emirati minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, speaks during a press conference in Dubai about the situation in Yemen on August 13, 2018. - The United Arab Emirates, Riyadh's main partner in the Saudi-led military coalition battling Huthi rebels in Yemen, says it is also determined to wipe out Al-Qaeda in the country's south. (Photo by KARIM SAHIB / AFP)
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The UAE minister of state for foreign affairs Dr Anwar Gargash held bilateral talks with the US envoy for Syria James Jeffrey during the UN General Assembly.

They discussed on Thursday the latest developments in Syria and Dr Gargash reiterated the UAE's support for a return to peace and security in the war-torn country and the need to do so through dialogue, state-agency WAM reported.

Dr Gargash also stressed the UAE's support for the efforts of UN envoy Staffan de Mistura in working towards a peaceful solution.

Also on Thursday the United States along with several Arab and European countries called on Mr de Mistura to urgently set up a committee on drafting a post-war constitution for Syria and report on progress by 31 October.

The foreign ministers of the seven countries met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to discuss steps to advance the political process in Syria, now in its eighth year of war.


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In a joint statement, they backed the "urgent convening" of the committee by UN envoy Staffan de Mistura that would begin work on drafting a new constitution and lay the groundwork for elections.

The seven countries asked Mr De Mistura to report back to the UN Security Council on his progress no later than the end of October, setting a deadline for action, according to a joint statement.

Egypt, Germany, Jordan, Britain joined the United States, France and Saudi Arabia in warning that "those who seek a military solution will only succeed in increasing the risk of a dangerous escalation."

Western diplomats say a recent agreement between Russia and Turkey to avert an all-out military assault on the rebel-held province of Idlib has created an opportunity to jump-start political talks.

Mr De Mistura told the council this month that there were ongoing disputes between the Syrian government and opposition over the composition of the committee, first announced at a summit convened by Russia in January.

But the envoy said he hoped that the committee could begin work in the coming weeks.

More than 360,000 Syrians have died in the war and millions have been uprooted.