Brahimi skips US-Russia talks on Syria

Brahimi skips US-Russia talks on Syria
Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:00:47

UN-Arab League Special Representative on Syria Lakhdar Brahimi is not going to take part in the talks between Russia and the US on the crisis in Syria.

The UN said in a Tuesday statement that Brahimi has welcomed but would not be participating the bilateral talks between Moscow and Washington due to be held in The Hague (in the Netherlands) next week to discuss preparations for Geneva 2 conference on Syria crisis.

"Mr. Brahimi is in constant contact with both the Russian and the US authorities. Another meeting to further preparations of the 'Geneva II' conference might be held in the near future but its date and place have not yet been set," the statement said.

On Monday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said, "The aim of this meeting (in The Hague) is to bilaterally compare our positions on organizing the conference. We'll discuss an entire range of issues relating to it."

"We hope that we'll be able to agree on who would take part [in the Syria conference]. It is our active stance that Iran must take part in the conference. We are sticking to this position," the Russian diplomat added.

This comes while on the same day, an unnamed Russian diplomat had said that Brahimi will also participate in the meeting.

On Friday, Gatilov said that the proposed Geneva 2 conference is unlikely to be held before October due to a busy diplomatic schedule ahead of the talks.

“We are for it (Geneva 2 conference) happening as soon as possible, but we need to be realistic about circumstances which could affect the forum,” he said.

On May 7, Russia and the US agreed in the Russian capital Moscow to convene an international conference on Syria, which will serve as a follow-up to an earlier Geneva meeting held in June 2012.

The Syrian government has already announced that it is ready to take part in the peace conference without any preconditions in an effort to help end over two years of deadly turmoil in the Arab country.

However, the date of the long-delayed event keeps slipping as Syria’s foreign-backed opposition coalition remains divided over taking part in the second Geneva talks.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. The United Nations says more than 100,000 people have been killed and a total of 7.8 million others displaced since the outbreak of the violence.


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