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Churkin: Brahimi not ready to convene third round of Syria talks

The second round of the talks ended in Geneva on February 11, 2014

UNITED NATIONS, April 03, /ITAR-TASS/. The Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for the Syrian Crisis, Lakhdar Brahimi, is showing no signs of readiness to convene the third round of Syria talks, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said on Thursday, April 3.

“Brahimi is continuing his work and consultations and is showing no readiness to convene the third round of talks,” he said.

The international mediator “so much disliked” the previous round of talks that “he is hesitating to convene the third round, while stating his thoughts about what should be done to make the third round more productive. This is not the most convincing reason for delaying the talks,” Churkin said.

The second round of the talks ended in Geneva on February 11, 2014. The discussions were expected to resume in March, but the international envoy has so far been unable to convince the sides to get back to the negotiating table.

Churkin believes that long pauses between the rounds will do no good since “the sides have to get used to negotiating with each other”. “After all, they met for only two five-day negotiating sessions,” the diplomat said.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said earlier in the day that the agenda of the third round had already been agreed and included a set of issues such as an end to violence, the fight against terrorism, the formation of a transitional governing body with the participation of representatives from the Syrian government and different segments of the Syrian political opposition, and other tasks arising out of the Geneva Communique of June 30, 2012.

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 basis of the talks is full implementation of an action plan adopted in the Geneva Communique of 2012, the first international conference on the conflict, which calls for setting up a transitional government that should then lead the country to free and fair elections.