President Donald Trump’s UN Ambassador Nikki Haley told reporters on Wednesday that in order to stabilize Syria, it must not be allowed to remain a “safe haven for terrorists,” and that it is vital “we get Iran and their proxies out.”
Haley spoke following a closed doors briefing on the Geneva talks by UN Syria mediator Staffan de Mistura at the Security Council. The talks lasted 10 days and concluded last week.
“The United States absolutely supports Staffan de Mistura and the work that he’s doing, we support the UN process, we support the talks in Geneva, we want to see them continue,” the UN envoy said, assuring the reporters that “this is very much about a political solution now … and that basically means that Syria can no longer be a safe haven for terrorists, we’ve got to make sure we get Iran and their proxies out, we’ve got to make sure that, as we move forward, we’re securing the borders for our allies as well,” she explained.
Haley would not comment on the issue of forcing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down. Assad enjoys heavy support from Russia, Iran, and Iran’s proxy Hezbollah.
De Mistura on Wednesday announced he had scheduled a fifth round of talks in Geneva on resolving the Syrian civil war, in an attempt to exploit what he describes as a momentum from the successful fourth round. He suggested more progress than he had expected was achieved in the last round.
“We did not expect miracles and, frankly, we did not have miracles, but we achieved much more than many people had imagined we could have,” de Mistura told reporters. “We got an agenda. We got a timeline. We got some agreement, even, on substance.”