#Geneva2 : #Syria Peace Convention – `Day One’ – Latest – 22 January 2014

#AceNewsServices say ‘We have taken the first small step’ – Ban Ki Moon on Syria peace talks’

Published time: January 22, 2014 17:09
Edited time: January 22, 2014 17:46
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon (R) looks on alongside UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi (L) during the so-called Geneva II peace talks dedicated to the ongoing conflict in Syria, on January 22, 2014, in Montreux.(AFP Photo / Fabrice Coffrini)UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon (R) looks on alongside UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi (L) during the so-called Geneva II peace talks dedicated to the ongoing conflict in Syria, on January 22, 2014, in Montreux.(AFP Photo / Fabrice Coffrini)
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said that ‘the really hard work begins on Friday’ with regard to reaching a diplomatic solution in Syria. “Nobody underestimates the difficulty of this issue,” he announced on the first day of peace talks in Switzerland.

Lakhdar Brahimi added that it was unclear whether they would be able to successfully bring the two Syrian sides face to face in the same room on Friday.

“Hopefully by the afternoon we will be able to meet with both sides in one room…of course the results will not be brought about in a speedy way, this will take a great deal of time,” Brahimi said.

Ban added that all parties must “respect international humanitarian law, which he said had been“flagrantly violated in this conflict.”

While the state’s institutions must be preserved, civilians are facing desperate health conditions.

Ban added that arrangements must be made for a local ceasefire.

Ban urged the resolution of the violent conflict in the country through political dialogue, rather than military means.

“There is no other solution,” he said. “I have been urging all the countries – who have provided arms to either side…[to] stop – and encourage them to engage in political dialogue.”

Some 100,000 people have been killed over the course of the conflict, and millions displaced.

The Geneva communiqué seeks to formulate plans for political transition within Syria.

However, Wednesday’s talks witnessed fraught scenes between international heavyweights, with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem telling US Secretary of State John Kerry that no one had the right to“withdraw legitimacy” from the Syrian president or government.

 

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