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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Syria peace conference in Geneva to be held in November

Lakhdar Brahimi, Arab-UN peace envoy in Syria
(Image: The Gurdian)
Syrian international peace envoy in UN Lakhdar Brahimi has stated during his official visit to Cairo that the peace conference is expected to be held in Geneva in the middle of November after it was postponed several times due to tense situation and deep divisions in the oppositional camp in Syria.

Lakhdar Brahimi has arrived in Cairo on Saturday, 19 October, in the framework of his official Middle East tour in order to gain more support for the planned peace talks to be held with UN and Syrian political figures.

Mr. Brakhimi met with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy and with Arab League chief Nabil El-Arabi. Mr. El-Arabi in his turn stated the date for the peace conference inGeneva is set for 23 November 2013.

The next official visit of Arab-UN joint peace envoy in Syria is planned for Iran which is the ally of the regime of Syrian long standing President Bashar Al-Assad. Lakhdar Brahimi will visit Tehran next week in order to prepare the next stage for the upcoming peace conference and is expected to meet several Iranian officials.

Mr. Brakhimi also plans to visit other Middle Eastern countries on the eve of the Geneva-2 peace conference in the middle of November, among them Turkey, Qatar and Syria itself. Then later in Geneva Mr. Brakhimi is expected to hold talks with the Russian and USA representatives as well.

It’s worth mentioning that the peace conference of UN on the Syrian issue in Geneva was planned in September after Syrian current government headed by Bashar Al-Assad made an official statement regarding the chemical weapons situated in Syria and signing the agreement against using and holding chemical weapons. Syrian government agreed to turn over its chemical weapons arsenal in order to find the way to resolve the deep crisis in the country and also to prevent international military intervention as USA stated clear that using of chemical weapon by Syrian government would be the red line.

The plan of the peace talks and project of destruction of Syrian chemical weapons was worked out in cooperation with Russian authorities and diplomats strongly opposing military intervention in Syrian and urging to look for the solution in the political and diplomatic field only.

Though Syrian opposition remains divided over the issue of the peace conference is expected to vote whether it will participate in the Geneva talks or not. Syrian oppositional forces range from the liberal and secular groups to the fundamentalist and radical Islamists group calling for imposing Sharia in Syria. Oppositional forces demand Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to step down while Syrian current government totally rejects this option insisting that Assad’s ouster couldn’t be on the table.

Meanwhile situation in Syria remains extremely tense and hard with the war conflict deepening in the country. Massive bombing also hit Syrian city of Hama on the day of Mr. Brakhimi’s visit of Arab League headquarters in Cairo leaving tens of dead and injured. Hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees are leaving the country seeking for shelter in the numerous refugee camps in the neighboring countries. The war conflict continues in Syria since 2011.