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New UN envoy Pedersen arrives in Damascus on first Syria trip – report

The United Nations’ new envoy to Syria, Geir Pedersen, arrived in Damascus on Tuesday for his first trip since being appointed, AFP reported. The seasoned Norwegian diplomat is the fourth negotiator to have been appointed UN special envoy to Syria since the civil war broke out in 2011. Pedersen has replaced Staffan de Mistura, who spent four years and four months trying to end the conflict. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said Pedersen brings to the job decades of political and diplomatic experience for his government and the UN, most recently as Norway’s ambassador to China.