GENEVA, March 23 (Xinhua) -- The Office of the Special Envoy for Syria (OSE) said preliminary discussions between rival Syrian delegations and Deputy Special Envoy for Syria, Ramzy E. Ramzy, began on Thursday in view of starting formal negotiations on Friday.
"The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, is pleased to note that all invitees to the fifth round of intra-Syrian talks have arrived in Geneva," the Office said in a written statement.
"The Special Envoy is returning later today to Geneva, having completed a series of consultations with international and regional stakeholders. He looks forward to formally engaging the invitees to the talks starting tomorrow, 24 March," it added.
The latest round of intra-Syrian peace talks is expected to focus on governance, constitutional issues, elections, as well as counter terrorism, security and confidence building measures.