#Geneva2 : `Russian FM Lavrov Condemns Attempts to Disrupt Political Settlement in Syria’

#AceWorldNews says Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, commenting on the intra-Syrian Geneva 2 peace talks, has said he is alarmed by “the systematic attempts to disrupt political settlement” in the country. “The Syrian government is being forced into slamming the door,” Itar-Tass quoted him as saying.

Damascus is prepared to discuss the implementation of the Geneva communique in full, he said Friday. However, there is the impression that in persuading Syria’s external opposition to join the Geneva-2 conference its sponsors had only the replacement of the regime in mind, he said.

#geneva2-peace-conference, #damascus, #itar-tass, #russian, #sergey-lavrov

#Geneva2 : “Syrian `Government Opposition’ Agree’ `Direct Talks’ on Saturday”

#AceNewsServices says `Syrian Government Opposition’ delegations agree to meet ‘in the same room `Saturday’

Published time: January 24, 2014 17:14
Edited time: January 24, 2014 17:46
United Nations Peace Envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi (Reuters / Mohamed Azakir)United Nations Peace Envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi (Reuters / Mohamed Azakir)
Syria’s government and opposition delegations have agreed to hold direct talks on Saturday, UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said, adding that the two sides recognize the principles of the Geneva 1 communique.

Tomorrow we have agreed that we shall meet in same room, Brahimi told a news conference after he held separate meetings with government and opposition delegations in Geneva. “Both parties will be here tomorrow…they will not leave on Saturday or Sunday,” he said, adidng the discussions were “encouraging.”

The envoy acknowledged, however, that core matters are yet to be discussed and that the resolution of the conflict will not be without its challenges. “I hope that they will go smoothly…we do expect some bumps on the road,” he said.”It’s impossible that there aren’t any in a situation like this.”

Saturday’s meeting will focus on the humanitarian situation in Syria and accessing blocked areas. The talks will be based on the Geneva 1 communique – the June 2012 statement by world powers which called for the two sides to agree on the establishment of a transitional body. Brahimi stated that it is clear to both sides that the “meat” of the conference would be how do implement the dispositions of the Geneva Communique, while noting that “there are different interpretations on some of those items”.

I think the two sides understand that very well and accept it,” Brahimi said.

Anas al-Absah, an opposition delegate told Reuters after Brahimi’s statements: “We are satisfied with Mr. Brahimi’s statement today and that the regime has accepted Geneva 1 (communique). And on this basis we will meet the Assad delegation tomorrow morning. It will be a short session in which only Brahimi will speak, to be followed by another session, a longer session in the afternoon.”

 

 

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#acenewsservices, #geneva2-peace-conference, #geneva2convention, #bashar-al-assad, #brahimi, #council-of-ministers-syria, #geneva, #geneva2, #lakhdar-brahimi, #reuters, #saturday, #syria, #united-nations

#Geneva2 : ” Formal Discussions on `How’ to Alleviate this `Ferocious Civil War’ Ready to Commence”

#AceNewsServices says `Syrian Opposition‘ refuses to meet govt face-to-face at #Geneva2 talks

Published time: January 24, 2014 00:41
Edited time: January 24, 2014 01:53
Syrian National Coalition (SNC) leader Ahmad Jarba gives a press conference on the "Geneva II" peace talks, on January 23, 2014 at the Intercontinental hotel in Geneva.(AFP Photo / Philippe Desmazes)Syrian National Coalition (SNC) leader Ahmad Jarba gives a press conference on the “Geneva II” peace talks, on January 23, 2014 at the Intercontinental hotel in Geneva.(AFP Photo / Philippe Desmazes)
The Syrian opposition involved in the Geneva 2 peace talks said a face-to-face meeting with President Bashar Assad’s representatives is unlikely to happen. Formal discussions on how to alleviate the ferocious civil war are set to begin on Friday.

United Nations mediator Lakhdar Brahimi will move between the two delegations at the talks in Switzerland, which will ramp up Friday under the patronage of the UN and world powers like Russia and the United States.

Haitham Al-Maleh, a senior member of the opposition coalition, said it was “not easy” to sit in the same room with Assad’s regime during Wednesday’s opening of the conference. He does not expect the more intensive negotiations to involve the two sides sitting down with one another, either.

“I don’t think we’re ready for that yet. The gap is too big,” he told the Times of Israel.

On Thursday, the opposition stayed firm with its major demand that President Assad should step down, as his “regime is dead” and the country is looking “into the future without him.”

“This is the basis of our negotiations and we will demand it,” Syrian opposition chief Ahmed Jarba said, according to Reuters.

Syrian government officials in attendance left the talks on Thursday without making a statement, insisting that Assad has no plans to step down.

“Obviously he is not ready at this point in time,” US Secretary of State John Kerry said in an interview with Al-Arabiya television.

Jarba also said that Russia, Assad’s ally, has pledged it is not “holding on” to the Syrian president.“When I met Lavrov last week in Paris, he confirmed that Russia isn’t holding on to Assad,” he said.

The palpable fragility of the talks centers around arguments for and against Assad’s role in a transitional government. Both sides are threatening to pull out if their demands are not met.

“We have started to look into the future without him. Assad and all of his regime is in the past now. Nobody should have any doubt that the head of the regime is finished. This regime is dead,” Jarba said, underscoring a tenor of limited expectations at the Geneva 2 talks.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem (L) and his delegation take part in the so-called Geneva II peace talks on January 22, 2014 in Montreux.(AFP Photo / Fabrice Coffrini)Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem (L) and his delegation take part in the so-called Geneva II peace talks on January 22, 2014 in Montreux.(AFP Photo / Fabrice Coffrini)

The first day of talks in Switzerland, on Wednesday, was riddled with harsh denunciations made by both sides of the other’s lack of compromise and brutality on the ground during a fierce civil war.

Meanwhile, other participants defended their own prerogatives. Western countries, Arab states, and Turkey supported the opposition in calling for a transitional government that excludes Assad. Russia pushed for the talks to be focused on tamping down terrorism.

One opposition representative has stated that a slower, step-by-step process is needed. He said that practical moves like prisoner swaps, ceasefires, weapons withdrawals, and aid centers should be established before any talk of Syria’s political future begins.

Islamist fighters antagonistic to both Assad and the opposition officially backed by the US and others are not represented at the talks. Al-Qaeda-linked Sunni militant groups, which control large swaths of territory, have accused opposition members in attendance of being traitors. Assad’s main regional ally, Iran, is also not involved in the Geneva 2 conference. The nation’s invitation was rescinded by the UN shortly before talks began this week.

Over 130,000 people are believed to have perished since the country’s civil war broke out in 2011. Nearly a third of Syria’s 22 million residents have been displaced, and half are in need of international aid, according to Reuters.

 

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#acenewsservices, #geneva2-peace-conference, #assad, #bashar-al-assad, #geneva, #john-kerry, #lakhdar-brahimi, #national-coalition-for-syrian-revolutionary-and-opposition-forces, #syria, #syrian-opposition, #united-states, #walid-muallem

#AceBreakingNews says a plane with a #Geneva2 peace…

#AceBreakingNews says a plane with a #Geneva2 peace talks delegation on-board has been reportedly prevented from refuelling as it landed in Athens, according to Syrian state TV.

The plane en route to Switzerland was permitted to pass through the relevant airspace and had to land at Athens’ airport for refuelling, Reuters reported.

Despite having proper clearances, the plane was still refused a refuel and the delay, so far, is three hours, according to SANA.

However, the “the issue has been settled,” Greek foreign ministry spokesman, Konstantinos Koutras, said as cited by Reuters.

“Everything is OK, it has been cleared for take-off,” he said, without specifying the reasons for the delay.

Local media reports, as cited by Itar-Tass, say that ground crew refused the refuel because the pilots had not provided the airport with any flight plans or informed them of their intention to land there.

As another reason, the media speculated that it could have been “sanctions against the Assad regime.”

The Geneva 2 conference, slated for January 22, has been on the verge of collapse.

One of the recent threats to jeopardize the peace talks was the Western-backed Syrian opposition’s demand to withdraw the invitation to Iran by 19:00 GMT Monday.

UN chief, Ban Ki-moon, retracted his invitation saying that Tehran “has chosen to remain outside that basic understanding” of the global consensus behind the Geneva communiqué.

Following the announcement Syria’s main opposition group – Syrian National Coalition – confirmed its participation in the peace talks.

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#geneva2-peace-conference, #reuters, #sana, #switzerland

Tehran: "Geneva 2 #Peace Conference `Must not Pander to Extremist's and Adopt a Realistic View' for #Syria"

#AceWorldNews says Tehran, who are not due to take part in the #Geneva2-Peace-Conference next week, says the gathering must not redistribute power towards radical factions among the country’s opposition. “Participants in the Geneva 2 forum must adopt a realistic view and remember that their decisions should not lead to the strengthening of extremist movements in Syria,” Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahi said. Iran, which has strongly supported the regime of President Bashar Assad throughout the conflict, was invited by the US to participate “on the sidelines” of the talks, but turned down the offer.

#extremists, #iran, #president-bashar-assad, #syria, #tehran, #us

#Syrian Opposition Meet in Istanbul to Make Decision About Joining #Geneva2

#AceWorldNews says the divided Syrian opposition is meeting in Istanbul to decide whether to join landmark peace talks due in Geneva on January 22. On the eve of the National Coalition’s meeting, US Secretary of State John Kerry made a plea to the exiled group to decide in favour of the talks. “The Syrian people need to be able to determine the future of their country, their voice must be heard,” AFP quoted him as saying. #Geneva2-Peace-Conference is aimed at finding a way to end war in Syria.

#syrian, #afp, #geneva2, #john-kerry, #syria, #us