Syrian delegation back in Geneva for 2nd round of talks

Syrian delegation back in Geneva for 2nd round of talks
Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:27:31

A delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic has arrived in Geneva to take part in the second round of talks in the context of the international conference dubbed 'Geneva II.'

The delegation, headed by Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Faisal Mikdad and Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem, is to resume talks with the representatives of the main opposition in the second round of talks in Switzerland.

Mikdad announced Friday that the delegation will participate in the second round of talks in Geneva scheduled to start on Monday.

Representatives from the opposition are also in Geneva.

The first round of Geneva talks started with an open session in the Swiss city of Montreux on January 22 with the presence of foreign ministers from a number of countries, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and UN Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi.

Talks then moved to Geneva where sessions behind closed doors took place during which discussions between Syria’s delegation and the so-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC) were held through Brahimi. The sessions continued through January 31.

Geneva talks ended with no tangible results and this was what Moallem stressed in a press conference he held in Geneva on the last day of talks.

Wide gaps remain on issues ranging from teh issue of terrorism to a a potential transitional government as well as humanitarian aid access particularly in areas besieged by extremist groups.

The so-called Syrian National Council (SNC) and its Western supporters insist that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must step down and a transitional government be formed in Syria.

However, Damascus rejects the demand, arguing that the SNC does not represent the Syrian opposition.


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