UN to offer direct talks to Syrian negotiators for first time – envoy

Syrian government and opposition negotiators meeting in Geneva this week will have the chance to hold direct talks for the first time, the UN envoy mediating the talks told reporters Tuesday. It is not clear if they will take it, Staffan de Mistura said. “We are going to offer it. We will see if this takes place. But we will be offering that,” he said after meeting the opposition delegation at their hotel. The opposition’s delegation arrived Monday after publishing a communique last week that said it was ready for talks “without preconditions,” AP reports. Syria’s government delegation will arrive a day late.