Brahimi welcomes US-Russia promise to work together for a political solution in Syria

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Joint Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi. [Photo: Jean-Marc Ferré]

The Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the Arab League for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, on Wednesday welcomed the statements by the Russian Federation and the United States that they would work together to achieve a political solution to end the Syrian conflict that has claimed more than 70,000 lives over the past two years.

On Tuesday, the United States and the Russian Federation reportedly agreed to convene an international conference to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis. They said they would encourage both Damascus and the opposition to hold negotiations. The announcement came after talks in Moscow between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Mr. Brahimi said "The statements made in Moscow constitute a very significant first step forward. It is nevertheless only a first step," adding that it the first "hopeful news concerning that unhappy country [Syria] in a very long time".

The statement said Mr. Brahimi has consistently called on the United States and the Russian Federation to exercise leadership and work together to initiate a process to implement the Geneva Declaration of 30 June 2012.

He said "there is every reason to expect the three other permanent members of the Security Council as a whole and indeed all the Security Council members to work together amongst themselves and with the Secretary-General to carry the process forward".

The statement concluded that "Naturally the Syrians themselves – all the Syrians – will occupy pride of place in the process that should be launched as early as possible. It is equally important that the entire region mobilizes in the support of the process".

The UN estimates that some 6.8 million people inside Syria are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance – nearly half of them children.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’40″

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