UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura delivers a speech at the third day of the 53rd Munich Security Conference (MSC) at the Bayerischer Hof hotel in Munich, southern Germany, on February 19, 2017. AFP / Christof STACHE
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The United Nations and other parties to Syrian peace efforts on Sunday softened any expectations of a major breakthrough at U.N.-led talks in Geneva next week, with U.S. policy on the crisis in disarray and its ties with Russia unclear.U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura told the Munich Security Conference the lack of a clear U.S. position made resolving the complex issues of the six-year civil war far more complicated than his earlier mediation efforts for Iraq and Afghanistan.De Mistura said the talks will focus on a new constitution, free and fair elections administered under supervision of the United Nations, and transparent and accountable governance.De Mistura did not answer directly, but said he remained focused on U.N. Security Council resolution 2254, with its focus on governance, a new constitution and elections.Syrian National Coalition President Anas al-Abdah said it was clear that Assad had to go.
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