UN set to resume 3rd round of Syria peace talks: Opposition

UN set to resume 3rd round of Syria peace talks: Opposition
Fri Feb 14, 2014 18:49:32

A Syrian opposition negotiator Ahmad Jakal said on Friday that UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi plans to take Syrian peace talks into a third round.

“Brahimi just told us the talks will continue and there will be a third round, but he did not set a date,” Jakal said, Reuters reported.

An opposition spokesman also said earlier that the second round of Syria peace negotiations have reached a "dead end" but may continue for at least another day.

Louay Safi, a spokesman for the Syrian opposition delegation, told reporters that "the negotiations are not moving toward a political solution".

There has been no response, Safi said, to the proposal his side submitted Wednesday, but the two sides might meet again Saturday.

"Unfortunately we have reached a dead end," Safi said, adding that he hoped international powers would exert enough pressure to change that.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the United States of using the Syrian talks for the sole purpose of "regime change".

"The only thing they want to talk about is the establishment of a transitional governing body," Lavrov said.

"Only after that are they ready to discuss the urgent and most pressing problems, like terrorism," he added, speaking after meeting with the German foreign minister in Moscow.

The Syrian government delegation says halting "terrorism" should be the priority, and rules out talks on transition while the violence rages.

Kerry said in Beijing that agreeing on a transition government was the sole purpose of the talks in Geneva. He said Lavrov had stood up beside him several times when Kerry has said that was the purpose.

Lavrov said the Russian-American initiative for the talks in Geneva clearly stated that discussions must not have artificial time constraints or deadlines.

"Now they are saying that to keep talking is senseless, because the government (of Syria) doesn't want to agree about the makeup of a transitional governing body. We are going in circles," Lavrov said.


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