UN mediator Staffan de Mistura says he will open a dialogue with regional powers supporting different sides in the Syrian war ahead of next week's Geneva peace talks, to find out if they support a political transition in Syria.

"We all know and [the Syrians] themselves know that unless there is not an international, plus a regional sort of understanding in a certain direction, they may find it difficult to come to an understanding themselves," de Mistura tells reporters.

In the coming days, De Mistura plans to travel to Iran and Syria, and to meet Turkish and Saudi officials in Europe, ahead of the next round of indirect peace talks that are now expected to start on Wednesday.

The UN Syria envoy clarifies that he has not asked to see President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus but plans to meet Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem.

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