Worsening situation in Syria dampening hopes for peace talks

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Lakhdar Brahimi

The United Nations, the Russian Federation and the United States of America are meeting in Geneva for a second round of talks on the holding of an international peace conference on Syria.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, the UN Joint Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said the situation in Syria continues to deteriorate and plans to hold the international peace conference in Geneva in July does not appear feasible.

Mr Brahimi said government and opposition forces continue to engage in relentless destruction and killings, inflicting suffering, injustice and a sense of hopelessness on the Syrian population.

He said Tuesday's meeting in Geneva will again try to find a consensus on possible dates for the conference, who will attend the conference and the structure to be followed.

"I am confident our discussions will be constructive and I am also confident that we will make progress but I cannot be certain that we will resolve all these basic questions today. Since our previous meeting here on 5 June, the situation on the ground in Syria has hardly improved. At the G8 summit in Northern Ireland last week, Syria was at the centre of the discussions. The interest was a confirmation that the international community is more and more conscious of the fact that the Syrian crisis is not only a national tragedy for the Syrian people but also a major threat to regional and international peace and stability. The events in the city of Sidon in Lebanon yesterday, where over 50 people were killed, are a stern reminder to all of the risks of the conflict in Syria spreading across the border to neighbouring countries." 

Mr Brahimi reiterated the appeal by the United Nations Secretary General to countries supporting either side of the conflict to stop supplying arms to the government and rebel forces.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.

Duration 2.24″

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November 2017
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