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Syria: Security Council Must Push For Productive Peace Talks

Syria: UN-Arab League Envoy Says Security Council Must Push For Productive Peace Talks

New York, Mar 13 2014 - The United Nations and Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria today announced that he has appealed to the Security Council to assist him in pressing for a possible new round of negotiations bringing together the Syrian Government and opposition groups to end three years of bloodshed in the country.

“We would very much like to continue this Geneva process, but we would like the help of the Council and of all those who can help to make sure that if, and when, we have the third round, it will be a little bit more productive than the second round,” Lakhdar Brahimi told journalists in New York after briefing the 15-nation body.

Two rounds of talks earlier this year, the first in January followed by a second round in February, saw both sides sticking to their positions and yielded only modest cooperation on a humanitarian issue related to aid access in the long-besieged Old City of Homs.

The basis of the talks is full implementation of an action plan adopted in the so-called Geneva Communiqué of 2012, the first international conference on the conflict, which calls for a transitional government to lead to free and fair elections.

In a statement yesterday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spotlighted the inability of the international community, the region and the Syrians themselves to put a stop to the three-year old conflict.

Both Mr. Ban and Mr, Brahimi are expected to brief the General Assembly tomorrow on the situation in Syria.

He appealed in particular to the Russian Federation and the United States, as the initiating States of the Geneva Conference, “to take clear steps to reenergize the process”.

Well over 100,000 people have been killed and an estimated 9 million others driven from their homes. In addition, there are currently more than 2.4 million refugees registered in the region: some 932,000 in Lebanon; 574,000 in Jordan; some 613,000 in Turkey; 223,000 in Iraq; and about 134,000 in Egypt, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

ENDS

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