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Arab League Envoy: The only way out of the Syrian crisis is political, not violent

August 23, 2013, 18:52 UTC+3
A Geneva-2 conference is necessary, Lakhdar Brahimi believes
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 Lakhdar Brahimi. Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Lakhdar Brahimi. Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

UNITED NATIONS, August 23 (Itar-Tass) - The Syrian authorities and opposition have not yet realised that the only way out of the crisis is through a political settlement, United Nations and Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi believes.

“We can say that the international community is close to the consensus that a political solution is the only way out (of the crisis). The sides (of the conflict) have not yet realised this,” the envoy told the UN television.

He also pointed to the progress in rapprochement between Damascus and the rebels that had previously rejected any contact with each other. “Now they are talking about the possibility of a political solution,” Brahimi stressed.

He admitted that at the moment “Syria is undoubtedly the biggest threat” to international security. According to him, this week’s reports about new possible chemical weapons use in the conflict are another proof of this.

According to a UN release, UN Secretary-General Bam Ki-moon remains deeply troubled by the reports of the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria. The Secretary-General believes that the incidents reported on August 21 need to be investigated without delay. He has been in touch with world leaders on the matter. He has instructed Under-Secretary-General Angela Kane to travel to Damascus. Furthermore, senior UN officials have been in contact with the Syrian authorities since the first reports were received.

Commenting on the progress of the preparation for the Peace Conference on Syria (Geneva-2), the UN special envoy to Syria admitted that the prospect for its calling in September is unclear. However, he stressed that the efforts for its organisation continue.

In particular, on August 28, a bilateral Russian-American meeting for the preparation for the Peace Conference on Syria will be held, Brahimi said. “We are discussing with them the possibility of another - trilateral meeting - with the participation of Americans, Russian and the United Nations,” he stated. According to him, after that the Group of Twenty forum will be held on September 5-6. “There is no doubt that Syria will be one of the topics under discussion, although the summit focuses on economic issues,” said the envoy. In addition, he expressed confidence that major attention would be paid to the Syrian issue during the 68th session of the UN General Assembly that is beginning in September.

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