UN envoy for Syria tells Security Council peace talks will resume ‘as soon as feasible’
The United Nations envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura told the Security Council on 26 May that he intends to begin the next round of intra-Syrian talks ‘as soon as feasible, but certainly not within the next two to three weeks.’ A note for the press, issued by the Office of the Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, said that the Special Envoy briefed the Security Council in closed-door consultations, the first such discussions since the conclusion of the latest round of talks in Geneva and since the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) met in Vienna on 17 May. Meanwhile, the note said, Mr. de Mistura will maintain close and continuous contact with the Syrian parties as well as the members of the ISSG before determining the “appropriate time” to reconvene the parties to Geneva.
Mediterranean death toll soars in first 5 months of 2016: UNHCR
At least 880 people are believed to have drowned last week in a spate of shipwrecks and boats capsizing in the Mediterranean Sea, the UN refugee agency said on 31 May. UNHCR told a press briefing in Geneva that the latest figures were arrived at following new information received through interviews with survivors brought ashore in Italy. “As well as three shipwrecks that were known to us as of Sunday, we have received information from people who landed in Augusta over the weekend that 47 people were missing after a raft carrying 125 people from Libya deflated,” UNHCR spokesperson William Spindler detailed.