Syria talks may not happen in July: UN envoy

Syria talks may not happen in July: UN envoy
Tue Jun 25, 2013 17:07:48

Syria’s peace conference is not likely to be held next month following US’s controversial decision to boost military aid for insurgents in the war-torn country.

UN peace envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said on Tuesday that "Frankly, I doubt that the conference will take place in July".

Speaking to reporters in Geneva ahead of a second meeting with US and Russian diplomats, the UN envoy stressed on the urgency of holding the conference, dubbed Geneva 2, which is set to be hosted by UN chief Ban Ki-moon and is meant to follow up on an initial Geneva meeting last year.

The 27-month conflict, which many fear is turning to a “war of hatred”, has already taken more than 93,000 people, according to the UN.

Hopes for bringing the conflict to a closer end were dimmed following a conference of the so-called Friends of Syria in Qatari capital in which Washington and its allies called for sending urgent military aids to the insurgents.

The move was seen as a blow to efforts, mainly by Russia, to bring the two sides to the negotiating table.

"I think that what is happening in the region is extremely, extremely serious, and I very much hope that governments in the region and the state partners, especially the United States and Russia ... will act to (end) this situation that is getting out of hand, not only in Syria but in the region," he said.

Brahimi was set to meet with Russian Deputy Foreign Ministers Gennady Gatilov and Mikhail Bogdanov and US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman in the Swiss city for the second time this month in a bid to organize the conference.

Amid the bloody insurgency that is taking more lives every day, sometimes in vicious and gruesome ways, Washington has stepped up its support for militants based on an unproved incident in which the White House says Damascus has reportedly used chemical weapons.

The United Nations and Russia have already dismissed Washington’s report as unreliable.

US calls for continuing the conflict until what they call as a “balance in the battleground” is achieved comes as the Syrian government has repeatedly said they are ready to take part in peace negotiations without any pre-conditions.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said on Monday that the government is even ready to help organize a ceasefire, should talks are set to start.

Syria crisis started as pro-reform protests but with interventions from the United States and its western and regional allies it soon turned to a massive insurgency which took in numerous terrorist groups from all over Europe and Middle East to wage one of the bloodiest wars the region has ever experienced.

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