UN-Arab League envoy and Syrian opposition leader hold talks in Cairo

11 February 2013

The Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, held a meeting in Cairo yesterday with Syrian opposition leader Moaz Al-Khatib during which they discussed the latter’s proposal for a political dialogue.

Mr. Brahimi reiterated his support for this initiative and encouraged the Syrian National Coalition, which Mr. Al-Khatib heads, to continue in this direction in the coming meetings, according to information provided by the UN.

The proposal for a political dialogue was also welcomed last week by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who said in a meeting with journalists at UN Headquarters that he was “encouraged” by it. “I sincerely hope that Syrian authorities accept this proposal,” he stated.

The Secretary-General noted that Mr. Brahimi will continue to actively engage with the Security Council, the opposition and key parties in the region.

“But the problem is the divisions in the region, inside Syria and also within the Security Council,” he noted. “Unless these divisions are breached, we may not be able to have some good prospects of [a] solution.”

The talks in Cairo also touched on the overall situation in Syria, where the conflict will soon enter its third year.

More than 60,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in early 2011. Recent months have witnessed an escalation in the conflict, which has also left more than four million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

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