Political solution for Syria crisis still possible, says UN-Arab League envoy
The meeting in Geneva between Mr. Brahimi, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns was “constructive and held in a spirit of cooperation,” said a statement issued by the Joint Special Representative.
“It explored avenues to move forward a peaceful process and mobilize greater international action in favour of a political solution to the Syrian crisis,” it added.
“All three parties reaffirmed their common assessment that the situation in Syria was bad and getting worse. They stressed that a political process to end the crisis in Syria was necessary and still possible.”
Today's meeting follows talks held last week in the Irish capital, Dublin, between Mr. Brahimi, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at which the three officials agreed on the urgent need to initiate a political process to help resolve the conflict in Syria.
The Middle Eastern country has been wracked by violence, with at least 20,000 people, mostly civilians, killed since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began some 21 months ago. The violence has spawned more than 465,000 refugees, while more than 2.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to UN estimates.
Participants at today's meeting agreed that a political solution would be based on the core elements of the communiqué issued by the Action Group that met in Geneva on 30 June, and agreed to meet again in the near future.
The communiqué called for the establishment of a transitional governing body, with full executive powers and made up by members of the present Government and the opposition and other groups, as part of important agreed principles and guidelines for a Syrian-led political transition.
The Action Group is made up of the Secretaries-General of the UN and the Arab League; the Foreign Ministers of the five permanent members of the Security Council – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the US – as well as the Turkish Foreign Minister; the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; and the Foreign Ministers of Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar, in their respective roles related to the Arab League.