United Nations Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura gestures as he arrives at a hotel in Damascus September 9, 2014. (REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri)
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Staffan de Mistura, on his first Damascus visit as the new U.N. envoy on the Syrian conflict, is to hold talks with President Bashar Assad Thursday, a newspaper close to the regime said.De Mistura, who is accompanied by his deputy Ramzy Ezzedine Ramzy, is also to meet with members of Syria's domestic opposition before winding up his visit Thursday.Unlike his predecessor Lakhdar Brahimi who was also mandated by the Arab League, de Mistura is representing only the United Nations. The United Nations said Monday that de Mistura would follow up his visit to Syria with other stops for talks with key players in the conflict.
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