New UN special envoy makes first visit to Syria
Turkey - SMART
On Tuesday, Geir Pedersen, the new United Nations (UN) special envoy to Syria arrived in Damascus for the first time as he succeeded Staffan De Mistura.
Syrian government’s media outlets reported that Pederson and the accompanying delegation met the Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem, who welcomed Pedersen on the condition of reaching a political settlement that puts an end to the foreign forces’ presence in Syria and preserves Syria’s unity.
The Syrian government media outlets reported Pedersen as saying that he seeks a political settlement in consideration of the principles approved in the UN charter and the Un Security Council's’ resolutions about Syria. Pedersen stressed the UN commitment to the Syrian State’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.
Pedersen is the fourth UN envoy to Syria after De Mistura, and the Algerian Lakhdar Brahimi, and the former UN Secretary Kofi Annan.
In 1993, Pedersen, whom media outlets describe as a veteran diplomat, participated in the Norwegian team in the secret negotiations that resulted in signing the Oslo agreements between Israel and Palestinians. Pedersen spent many years as Norway representative to the Palestinian Authority. Peterson also was the Norway ambassador to China and was earlier an ambassador to the UN.