Essential Discussions

Essential DiscussionsEssential Discussions

The failure of Iran and Saudi Arabia to hold discussions on the conflict in Syria is a key obstacle to a serious push for peace, the UN special envoy said, warning that a comprehensive political solution is urgently needed to prevent further loss of life and stem Islamic State advances in the region. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal in Brussels, Staffan de Mistura said Thursday he believes many involved in the conflict realize a military victory is no longer possible. He said some outlines of an eventual deal are clear and that some conditions enabling it, including tentative discussions between Moscow and Washington, are coming together. However, the conflict will not be resolved, he said, without all key international players being involved. That includes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s main backer Iran and its leading regional rival, Saudi Arabia.  “What we need to hear…is a frank discussion between Iran and Saudi Arabia,” de Mistura said.