Following the conclusion of the international talks on the Syrian crisis, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini describes the negotiations held in Vienna as “historic” and “very substantial.”
“We tackled major issues that were on the table… but we found common grounds to continue talks,” Mogherini told reporters at the end of the Vienna meeting on Friday.
She emphasized that the meeting was not an easy one “but for sure a historic one as we had, for the first time, all the actors around the table, and I would say a very constructive atmosphere.”
She said she believed that participants at the international meeting have “some common grounds” on which they can build in the future.
“So there’s hope for a political process to start under the UN auspices and with all of us coming together again,” Mogherini pointed out.
The international meeting on the Syrian crisis kicked off in the Austrian capital on Friday. Foreign ministers of Iran, the United States, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Egypt, Russia, Jordan, Britain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Lebanon, China and Oman attended the talks.
Envoys from the United Nations and the European Union were also present at the meeting.
Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Friday that the participants had agreed to hold another meeting in two weeks’ time to find a political solution to the four-year crisis in Syria.
Speaking to reporters following the talks in Vienna, Fabius said the participants discussed all issues, “even the most difficult” ones.
“There are points of disagreement, but we advanced enough for us to meet again, in the same configuration, in two weeks,” the French minister added.
Russia’s hope for further compromises
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, for his part, expressed hope that further compromises would end the war in Syria.
Speaking after the Vienna meeting, Lavrov said the multilateral talks on the Syrian crisis had failed to reach a consensus on the fate of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.
He emphasized that only “the Syrian people should decide Assad’s fate.”
Meanwhile, participants in the Vienna meeting called for a nationwide truce in Syria.
In a joint statement at the end of the Vienna talks on Friday, Iran, the United States, Russia and 14 other countries said “substantial differences remain” but it was “imperative to accelerate all diplomatic efforts to end the war”.
According to the statement, the participants called on the United Nations to bring together representatives of the Syrian government and opposition to launch “a political process leading to credible, inclusive, non-sectarian governance, followed by a new constitution and elections.”