No Breakthrough Expected in Upcoming Syrian Peace Talks
The U.N.’s chief mediator for the intra-Syrian talks says he does not see any imminent breakthrough on the horizon.
On the eve of a new round of Syrian peace talks, Staffan de Mistura, the U.N. special envoy for Syria, downplayed expectations, but said that there was a “political momentum” to move ahead on efforts to end the long-standing civil war.
Syria’s warring parties last met in Geneva nearly nine months ago. That round of talks broke down because of repeated violations of a cease-fire agreement.
De Mistura acknowledged that the successful resumption of the failed negotiations hinged largely on the warring parties abiding by the current cease-fire.
He said Russia, which had worked out the agreement with Turkey in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, was using its influence to see that the fragile cease-fire held.
The U.N. envoy warned that there were, what he called “spoilers,” who would try to provoke one side or the other to walk out of the talks or to refuse to talk.
Syria’s nearly six-year-long civil war has killed around 400,000 people, displaced more than 6 million inside Syria, half of them children and prompted nearly 5 million to flee as refugees into neighboring countries. An estimated 13.5 million people need humanitarian assistance.
白宫新闻秘书斯派塞周三表示，“川普总统在刚刚开始执政之际就派遣内阁成员到墨西哥访问，这是很重要的。”他说， “这是我们两国有意义的双边关系的象征。” 斯派塞还提到两国关系“健康强大”。
Mexico’s President to Meet Two Trump Emissaries
Two key members of U.S. President Donald Trump’s cabinet are hoping to soothe concern and anger about the new U.S. administration's policies toward Mexico.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly meet Thursday with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and members of his cabinet, in what is expected to be the first in a series of high-level meetings focusing on drug trafficking, trade and immigration.
"It's significant that the president is sending the secretaries to Mexico so early in his administration," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday. "It's symbolic of the meaningful relationship our two nations have." Spicer also referred to relations between the two countries as "healthy and robust."
The trip comes at what is seen as a low point in relations between the two countries, which have enjoyed peace along their 3,100 kilometer-long common border since the Mexican-American War of the late 1840s.
Trump has repeatedly insisted that Mexico, one way or another, must pay for a border wall, which lawmakers in Washington estimate would cost at least $12 billion. And just this week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security outlined policies that could result in the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants.
On Wednesday, Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, quoted by Reuters, said his country will not accept new "unilateral" U.S. immigration proposals and will not hesitate in taking the matter to the United Nations.