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Much to be done before Syria conference: Brahimi

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 18:49

United Nations: The UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, said Tuesday that much remained to be done to ensure progress at a proposed international conference on the Syrian conflict.

"I think that there is a lot of work that needs to be done to make sure that when Geneva takes place, it will produce something constructive," Brahimi said at a meeting for peace mediators in Losby in southeastern Norway.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov agreed in May to organise a second peace conference in Geneva but no date has yet been set.

The new conference aims to build on the Geneva accord signed in June last year to map out a path for political transition in Syria.

A meeting between representatives of the United Nations, Russia and the United States will be held on June 25 in the Swiss city to prepare for the conference originally scheduled for June, but which is unlikely to be held before July due to disagreements over the agenda and who should attend.

As for "the parties themselves, neither the government nor the opposition are convinced that this is a good idea. Not yet," Brahimi said.

"We hope that this Geneva II conference will take place as soon as possible but not sooner than possible," he added.

According to UN estimates, the conflict has killed more than 93,000 people, including 6,500 children, since March 2011.


First Published: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 18:49
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