UNITED NATIONS, September 26 (Itar-Tass) — Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on the Syrian crisis Lakhdar Brahimi seeks to continue contacts with Moscow. He made this statement at a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
“He expressed a very strong interest in maintaining very active contacts with Moscow, with the Russian side,” Russian President’s special envoy for the Middle East and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told Russian reporters after the talks. According to him, the Russian foreign minister confirmed to Brahimi that “Moscow is ready to receive him at any time convenient for him.”
Bogdanov said that in the coming days the emissary of the international community in Syria is going to visit a number of countries, “in order to have a more detailed considerations” about ways to resolve the conflict. “He is currently putting together the assessments, considerations and his own impressions from contacts with the sides involved in this crisis, studies what has already been worked out and some positive common approaches. He also analyses mistakes, and, perhaps, the failures that have been made during 18 months of the crisis,” Bogdanov said.
Brahimi said at a meeting with the Russian foreign minister that he so far has no full plan for the Syrian conflict settlement, but has ideas how to achieve this. However, the special envoy of the UN and Arab League reiterated that in the preparation of the “roadmap” he will be guided by the six-point plan drawn up by his predecessor - Kofi Annan, as well as by the communiqu· of the Action Group for Syria, adopted at the Geneva meeting on June 30.
“Lakhdar Brahimi said he carefully read the Geneva communique and believes that it contains much important groundwork, mutual understanding, the more so that all this was achieved by a consensus approach, so he confirmed that it would be unwise to lose this foundation. I think - and he has said this, that he will derive much from this document for making his own comprehensive plan of work,” said the Russian deputy foreign minister.
The United Nations says nearly 20,000 people have been killed in the conflict. More than 250,000 Syrians have fled to neighbouring Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq, with more than 100,000 of those leaving in August alone.
Lakhdar Brahimi officially took office as the UN and LAS Special Envoy for Syria on September 1 when the term of office of his predecessor - Kofi Annan, expired. An Algerian national who has served the UN in various high-level roles over the past two decades, Mr. Brahimi has assumed the peace-facilitation role which had been carried out since February by a former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, with the aim of bringing an end to all violence and human rights violations in Syria, and promoting a peaceful solution to the conflict. Mr. Annan’s mandate ended on August 31.
Lakhdar Brahimi on Monday attended a meeting of the UN Security Council, reporting to its members on his 10-day trip to Syria and neighbouring countries. After the meeting, the emissary of the international community admitted that the situation in the Arab country is very difficult, and efforts to resolve the conflict through diplomatic methods have reached an impasse. At a meeting with journalist the envoy stressed that there are no prerequisites for making progress today or tomorrow. “Reform is not enough anymore, what is needed is change,” Brahimi said.