Putin must nudge Syria into U.N. peace deal, mediator says

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GENEVA (Reuters) – U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura urged Russia on Wednesday to convince its ally the Syrian government of the need to clinch a peace deal to end the nearly seven-year-old war.

De Mistura, speaking on Swiss television station RTS, said failure to make peace quickly through United Nations mediation could lead to “a fragmentation of Syria”.

Asked what signal Russian President Vladimir Putin could give, he said: “Convince the (Syrian) government that there is no time to lose….And to win the peace, you have to have the courage to push the government to accept that there has to be a new constitution and new elections, through the United Nations.”

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Peter Graff)

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