This week sees the start of a second round of talks in the framework of the European Union’s Regional Initiative on the future of Syria, High Representative Federica Mogherini’s initiative to identify post-conflict arrangements for the country.
A series of bilateral meetings will take place between senior officials of the EU and representatives of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon, and in the coming days with Turkey and Qatar.
Mogherini proposed the initiative on the future of Syria to EU leaders at the end of last year, who invited her to build on it. She already held a first round of talks with the Foreign Ministers of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Emirates, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar before the end of the year.
Besides identifying common ground on post-conflict arrangements, the initiative is examining the scope for reconciliation and reconstruction once a credible political transition is firmly under way. It is being conducted in full coordination and support of the intra-Syrian talks that will be held by the UN Special Envoy de Mistura in Geneva in February, and in view of the Brussels Conference on Syria and the region which will be hosted by the EU later in the spring.
The EU is strongly committed to contribute towards a political transition in Syria as agreed in the UN Security Council Resolutions 2254 and 2118.