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Source: Brahimi to brief UN SC on Geneva II progress March 13

February 27, 2014, 23:36 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
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UNITED NATIONS, February 27, (ITAR-TASS). The Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for the Syrian Crisis, Lakhdar Brahimi, will brief the U.N. Security Council on the progress achieved at the second round of the Geneva II international conference on Syria on March 13, a source at the U.N. headquarters in New York told ITAR-TASS on Thursday, February 27.

The spokesperson for the U.N. Secretary-General, Martin Nesirky, confirmed that Brahimi’s briefing would be held in a week’s time but could not name the exact date.

He said that the schedule of Brahimi’s visit to New York had not been determined yet.

The second round of inter-Syrian talks ended officially in Geneva on February 15, and the parties are set to continue their discussions, but the date of the next round has yet to be agreed.

Brahimi said the agenda of the next round had been agreed and consisted of four points: violence and terrorism, a transitional governing body, national institutions, national reconciliation, and a national dialogue.

He said the last session of the second round was “as laborious as all the meetings we have had, but we agreed on an agenda for the next round when it does take place.”

Brahimi admitted that “these two rounds have not come out with very much.”

The envoy said the government and opposition delegations had agreed with the proposed agenda, but the government negotiators had not yet approved the manner in which the discussion would be conducted.

The government delegation pledged to continue the talks at the Geneva II international conference until results were achieved, Syrian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Bashar Ja’afari said.

“We are set to achieve a result, and we will press for a constructive dialogue. We will be back to Geneva,” he said.

The diplomat stressed, however, that Israel and the sponsors of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces were trying to undermine the process and were not showing good will.

However National Coalition spokesman Louay Safi reaffirmed his delegation’s intention to continue the talks and commitment to the Geneva Communique of June 30, 2012.

He urged Russia to put pressure on the Syrian government, which in his opinion was not demonstrating a serious approach and was instead delaying the discussion on the fight against terrorism for its own purposes.

Safi expressed hope that the government delegation would return to the next round in a more constructive mood.

Speaking to journalists after the end of the second round of Syria talks in Geneva on February 15, Brahimi said he would discuss this issue with the U.N. Secretary-General and would brief the Security Council and its five permanent members on the state of affairs.

He said that Russia and the United States had pledged to help unblock stalled negotiations between the Syrian sides

“They have kindly reaffirmed their support for what we are trying to do and promised that they will help both here and in their capitals and elsewhere to unblock the situation for us because until now we are not making much progress in this process,” Brahimi said after a meeting with Russian and U.S. senior officials on February 13.

Brahimi stressed that “failure is always staring at us in the face. As far as the United Nations is concerned we will certainly not leave one stone unturned if there is a possibility to move forward. If there isn’t, we will say so.”

The goal of the international conference on Syria is to achieve a political solution to the three-year-long conflict through a comprehensive agreement between the two sides for the full implementation of the Geneva communique, adopted after the first international meeting on the issue on June 30, 2012, and since endorsed by the U.N. Security Council.

The communique lays out key steps in a process to end the violence. Among others, it calls for the establishment of a transitional governing body, with full executive powers and made up by members of the present Government and the opposition and other groups, as part of agreed principles and guidelines for a Syrian-led political transition.

The conference marks the first time the Syrian government and the opposition will meet for direct talks since the conflict began in March 2011. Hosted by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Joint Envoy Brahimi, the conference took place in Switzerland in two parts, opening in Montreux on January 23, 2014, and continuing at the U.N. office in Geneva, on January 24. More than 30 nations had been invited to attend.

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