US-Russia Syria talks could have major impact if successful: UN

"Their conclusion could make... a major difference," UN envoy Staffan de Mistura said. 

AFP| Updated: Sep 09, 2016, 17:23 PM IST
US-Russia Syria talks could have major impact if successful: UN

Geneva: US-Russian talks on stilling the fighting in Syria could powerfully boost efforts to provide aid and a political solution if they succeed, UN envoy Staffan de Mistura said Friday.

"(It) would have a major impact on humanitarian access, and in turn would have a positive impact on the way the political process would be relaunched," de Mistura said as US Secretary of State John Kerry met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva.

"Their conclusion could make... a major difference," de Mistura said. "So these meetings today are important."

The Syrian conflict began as a pro-democracy revolt in 2011 but snowballed into a multi-front war after the regime unleashed a crackdown.

Nearly 300,000 people have been killed and half of the population have fled their homes.

Russia and the United States back opposite sides, with Moscow supporting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and the US behind a coalition of rebel groups it regards as moderate.