#AceWorldNews UNITED NATIONS May 06 Lakhdar Brahimi special…

#AceWorldNews – UNITED NATIONS – May 06 – Lakhdar Brahimi, special envoy of the UN and the Arab League for Syria, is expected to resign in late May, RIA Novosti reported.

He was initially planning to resign at a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday, but the latter persuaded him to stay on until a replacement is found.

Several Algerian newspapers reportedly said Wednesday that Brahimi could accept a high position in President Bou Tafliqa’s new administration.


#lakhdar-brahimi, #un-secretary-general-ban-ki-moon, #united-nations

` Resumption of the `Geneva Peace-Talks ‘ between Damascus and the Opposition is out of the Question – Brahmi ‘

#AceWorldNews – KUWAIT – 24 March – A resumption of peace talks in Geneva between Damascus and the opposition was “out of the question” for the moment, according to the international mediator on Syria.

“A return to Geneva is out of question for the time being because the criteria have not been met,” AFP quoted UN and Arab-League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi as saying in Kuwait on Monday.

A second round of peace negotiations collapsed in Geneva on February 15.

No date for another round of negotiations was set after Brahimi broke off the Geneva2 talks, to give the government and opposition an opportunity to take stock.


#rt, #afp, #arab-league, #damascus, #geneva, #geneva2, #kuwait, #lakhdar-brahimi, #syria, #un

#Geneva2 : ” Russian Foreign Ministry has `Urged all Parties to make Compromises’ in their Dialogue”

#AceWorldNews says that the Russian Foreign Ministry has urged the parties to the Syrian talks to make compromises in their dialogue, Itar-Tass reported.

“We are convinced that active and systemic work to build trust between the authorities and the opposition is necessary in order to make the inter-Syrian dialogue more sustainable,”

it said in a statement on Monday. The international mediator, Lakhdar Brahimi, has been mandated to pursue an impartial and objective policy, the ministry said.

“In doing so, the special representative should not drift towards unilateral accusations, or lay all the blame for lack of progress in the dialogue on any one side,” it stressed.

#syrian, #itar-tass, #lakhdar-brahimi, #unilateral

#Geneva2 :” Peace Talks End without Any Hope of Progress – Date of Next Round Undecided ”

The UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi has apologised to the Syrian people after peace talks in Geneva ended without making progress.

He had held final discussions with both sides in Geneva in a last-ditch bid to break the stalemate between the Syrian government and opposition.

He said the main sticking point was the government, which refused again to talk about a transitional governing body.

The conflict in Syria has claimed more than 100,000 lives since March 2011.

The discussions on Saturday morning lasted just 27 minutes, after which Mr Brahimi emerged looking tired to address reporters, the BBC’s Imogen Foulkes reports from Geneva.

Mr Brahimi apologised to the Syrian people, admitting that the talks “had not come out with very much”.

Although the two sides had agreed on an agenda for the next round, Mr Brahimi said the government had rejected his suggestion to begin a third round by spending a day focusing on combating violence and terrorism, and a second day discussing a transitional government.

The opposition has long insisted on a transitional government that does not include President Bashar al-Assad or any of his loyalists.

The government has always rejected this and said there is no question of Mr Assad leaving power.

Mr Brahimi said both sides needed “to go back to their base” for consultations and to think about whether they wanted the process to continue or not.

#aceworldnews, #assad, #bbc, #geneva, #lakhdar-brahimi, #president-bashar-al-assad, #syrian-people

#Geneva2 `Syrian Opposition will not meet with the Government Delegation on Friday”

#AceWorldNews says the Syrian opposition will not meet in Geneva on Friday with the government delegation in view of the latter’s ” non-constructive attitude,” Louai Safi, spokesman for the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (NCROF), told Itar-Tass on Thursday.

“There will be no meeting with the government team,” the NCROF spokesman said. “The government has taken up an utterly non-constructive attitude, and they do not conduct negotiations”.

“We shall hold a separate meeting with Lakhdar Brahimi, UN/LAS special representative on Syria. We expect to understand whether there is a possibility of headway. It will also become clear when we shall leave Geneva,” Safi said.

#geneva, #itar-tass, #lakhdar-brahimi, #national-coalition-for-syrian-revolutionary-and-opposition-forces, #syrian-opposition

#Geneva2 : ” Round `Two of Talks’ begin’s with `Trying to get Everyone to Agree’

#AceWorldNews says `Brahimi to Hold Separate Meetings with Syrian Sides of the Conflict`

International mediator Lakhdar BrahimiInternational mediator Lakhdar Brahimi will keep meeting the two sides of the Syrian conflict separately for the next few days as negotiations resumed in Geneva on Monday.

The talks will tackle the issues of stopping violence, setting up a transitional governing body, and plans for national institutions and reconciliation, Brahimi told the two sides in a document obtained by Reuters.

The second session is expected to last a week.


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#Geneva2 : ” Second Round of #Syria #Peace Talk’s may `Start’ February 10 2014″

#AceBeakingNews says `RIA Novosti‘ reports that `Second Round of Syria Talks’ may start Feb.10 – Official’

cropped-header-breaking-news.jpgThe second round of peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition could start in Geneva on February 10, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad said, RIA Novosti reported. Agreement on the date has been reached, he told reporters, adding that at least the government delegation had approved it. The next round of talks is likely to take a week, he added. Representatives of the delegation from the opposition have rejected three documents proposed by the government, including one on securing territorial integrity and condemning external interference in the country.


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#Geneva2 : ” Small Progress in Talk’s `Ending Friday’ and Due to Resume in February”

#AceNewsServices say `UN Chief Cites ‘progress’ at Syria Talks’

Ace News Desk There has been “progress” at peaceful talks inSwitzerland, between Syria’s government and opposition delegations, UN Secretary-GeneralBan Ki-moon said in Berlin on Thursday, Itar-Tass reported. The negotiations will be suspended on Friday, so that participants could discuss talks at home, he said.

They should resume in February, however the exact date was not determined yet. International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said on Wednesday that he does not expect to achieve anything substantive in the first round of Syria talks ending on Friday.


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#Geneva2 : “Agree to Use `Geneva Communique’ as Basis for `Peace’ Talks”

#AceWorldNews says `Syria Delegations agree on basis for Peace Talks’ 

Ace News Desk  The two Syrian delegations at peace talks in Geneva have agreed to use the ‘Geneva communique’ as the basis for peace talks, an opposition spokesman Louay Safi said on Wednesday. The news is seen as an apparent step forward for the talks, Reuters reported. The communique was agreed by international powers in June 2012. “We have agreed that Geneva 1 is the basis of the talks,” Reuters quoted him as saying. “The regime has accepted but it wants the transitional governing body to be discussed at the end. We want it at the beginning.” Neither the government nor the UN have immediately confirmed the statement.

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#aceworldnews, #bashar-al-assad, #geneva, #geneva-1, #june-2012, #lakhdar-brahimi, #louay-m-safi, #reuters, #syria, #united-nations, #wednesday

#Geneva2 : `Delegates Fall-Out Over Difference’s of Goal of the `Peace Talk’s’ …. Clue #Peace ‘

#AceNewsServices says `Brahimi cancels session of Syria peace talks’

cropped-header-news-room.jpgAn afternoon session of talks to end the war in Syria was cancelled Tuesday.

The opposition delegation cited differences over the goal of the talks. International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi “canceled the afternoon talks to give [Ibrahim] Jaafari time to think over Geneva 1,” opposition negotiator Ahmed Jakal told Reuters, referring to the Syrian government’s chief negotiator.

The Syrian delegation “resisted” moving discussions onto the question of a transitional government, Jakal said.


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#acenewsservices, #bashar-jaafari, #brahimi, #council-of-ministers-syria, #geneva, #lakhdar-brahimi, #middle-east, #reuters, #syria, #syrian-civil-war, #united-nations

#Syria : ” WFP to `Deliver Food’ to `Besieged City of Homs’ ….. Finally”

#AceNewsServices `Parties in Syria‘ conflict agree on aid delivery to Homs.

cropped-header-news-room.jpgSyria’s government and opposition have agreed on the delivery of relief supplies to residents in the besieged city of Homs, media reports say. The UN World Food Program is ready to deliver a month of rations to the Old City of Homs in Syria for 2,500 people once it gets a green light from all sides, WFP spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said Tuesday.

“Once all parties on the ground allow the inter-agency convoy to proceed, WFP will deliver to the Old City 500 family rations and 500 bags of wheat flour, enough for 2,500 people for one month,” Byrs told Reuters.

The UN hub in Homs is preparing an inter-agency aid convoy for the embattled population in the rebel-held city. 

The UN hub in Homs is preparing an inter-agency aid convoy for the embattled population in the rebel-held city.

Editorial Comment: ” About time they stop fighting among themselves and considered the starving families.   


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#AceNewsDesk : `World News’ – Headlines – 25 January 2014




​4 Egyptian diplomats kidnapped in Libya

Four Egyptian Embassy staff have been kidnapped in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, the Libyan Foreign Ministry said on Saturday. Among the kidnapped was a cultural attaché from the embassy. It comes after an Egyptian administrative attaché was abducted on Friday by unknown gunmen, following the arrest of Shaban Hadia, the leader of a large militia group, the Operations Room of Libya’s Revolutionaries. The group has denied responsibility for the incident.

Identité visuelle de la Ville de Genève

Identité visuelle de la Ville de Genève (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


​Syria ‘face-to-face’ peace talks begin in Geneva – UN

The Syrian government and opposition delegations started a face-to-face meeting within the framework of the Geneva 2 peace conference on Saturday, a UN spokeswoman said. UN-Arab League peace envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, is mediating the talks. The conference, which is aimed at putting an end to the Syrian crisis that has gone on for nearly three years, suffered a delay on Friday as the delegations refused to talk directly.

Al-Fayhaa Stadium in Damascus, Syria as seen f...

Al-Fayhaa Stadium in Damascus, Syria as seen from Mount Qasioun. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Damascus has ‘real reservations’ against transitional govt

The Syrian government says it opposes creating a transnational ruling body, a proposed solution to the domestic conflict that has plagued the country for nearly three years. “We have real reservations regarding it,”said Information Minister Omran Zoabi, as peace talks with an opposition delegation have reportedly started in Geneva. Zoabi said that the reasoning behind this decision lay in the fact that Syria has its own institutions, and the need to create a transitional governing body arises only when a state is in disintegration, or has no institutions.

Palace Square in Saint Petersburg.

Palace Square in Saint Petersburg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


10 Russian border guards die in marine incident

A border patrol squad was in icy waters near the island of Kunashir (South Kurils) attempting to inspect a ship just 500 meters from the shore. The rubber boat with 10 border guards onboard was overturned by a high wave and nobody was able to get to the shore. Patrol ships and a helicopter are engaged in search operation and four bodies have already been found. The area is known for strong underwater currents and other bodies could have been dragged far from the scene of the incident. According to one version of events, the incident happened because the guards didn’t observe the rules and wore no life vests.

NSA Do You Use03:02

​Cyberattack takes down US federal court system websites

US federal court system websites were hacked Friday, blocking public access and preventing the filing of legal documents online. The intrusion impacted uscourts.gov, the main federal court website, as well as the government’s electronic filing system and its access page, PACER, a spokesman for the Administrative Office of the US Courts said Friday. The federal court system, which manages its own cybersecurity, is investigating what occurred, the spokesman said, adding that the incident was a denial-of-service attack. It is not yet known who was responsible.


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#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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#AceNewsDesk : ” World News – Headlines – 24 January 2014″

Ace News Group



Romanian hacker ‘Guccifer’ appeals for release

“Guccifer” – the Romanian hacker renowned for accessing the private emails of former US president George W. Bush and various key entertainment figures appealed his arrest on Friday, according to Reuters. Marcel Lazar Lehel, whose name roughly translates as “Small Fume” was detained in Bucharest on Wednesday after hacking the email accounts last February. Leading Romanian lawyer, Catalin Dancu, stated there was “close to no chance” of the request for release being granted.

Three killed in US Yemen drone strike

Three suspected militants have been killed in a drone strike in Yemen, east of the capital Sanaa. Local officials and tribal sources told Reuters that it was a US drone which killed the trio. A succession of explosions was heard by witnesses, after which a car with the charred remains of three bodies was found. Fifteen people were killed and a further five injured in December when a US drone struck a wedding party.

Argentina Govt lifts restrictions on buying foreign currency

Argentinian authorities on Friday lifted restrictions in place since 2011 that limited the purchase of foreign currency, AFP reported. The announcement came a day after the peso suffered its worst single-day dive since the 2002 financial crisis. Jorge Capitanich, President Cristina Kirchner’s cabinet chief, said the government has decided “to authorize the purchase of dollars for holding or savings.” At a rate of 8.01 pesos to the dollar, the peso “has reached a level acceptable to the objectives of economic policy convergence,” he said. The peso plunged by more than 11 percent against the dollar on Thursday.

UN nuclear inspectors’ visit to Gchine uranium mine in Iran imminent

UN nuclear watchdog inspectors will visit Iran’s Gchine uranium mine in the coming days, under a cooperation agreement signed late last year. The move was announced by Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Reuters reported. Amano did not give further details about the planned visit.

Three killed in US Yemen drone strike

Three suspected militants have been killed in a drone strike in Yemen, east of the capital Sanaa. Local officials and tribal sources told Reuters that it was a US drone which killed the trio. A succession of explosions was heard by witnesses, after which a car with the charred remains of three bodies was found. Fifteen people were killed and a further five injured in December when a US drone struck a wedding party.

3,000 Serbians protest anti-crisis laws

Some 3,000 workers have rallied against laws that Serbian government officials say are a key to economic reform, but which could lead to further job losses, AP said. Demonstrators marched in downtown Belgrade on Friday, demanding that new labor, bankruptcy and privatization laws be withdrawn. They also want the economy minister, Sasa Radulovic, to resign. Radulovic has insisted that the laws are necessary to restart Serbia’s economy. The reform bills are yet to be approved in Parliament.

2,000 Morsi supporters clash with security forces in Cairo

Fierce clashes broke out between about 2,000 supporters of deposed Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and Egyptian security forces in Cairo on Friday, Reuters reported. They happened hours after a suicide bomber attacked a major police compound in the capital. The fighting took place on the road that leads to the Pyramids of Giza. Some Islamists burned tires and hurled petrol bombs at security forces, who responded by firing tear gas.

Child dead in apartment explosion in Nice, France

An explosion in an apartment building on Friday morning in Nice, in the south of France, has killed a four-year child and injured four others – two of them were hospitalized. The multi-story building was seriously damaged, local media say. The blast ripped through two apartments, and parts of the roof and wall crumbled. The cause of the explosion was not immediately clear.

Syria delegation to leave Geneva if no ‘serious sessions’ before Saturday

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said on Friday that if no serious work sessions were held by Saturday, the government delegation would leave, Reuters reported. “If no serious work sessions are held by [Saturday], the official Syrian delegation will leave Geneva due to the other side’s lack of seriousness or preparedness,”state television quoted Muallem as telling UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi. Brahimi and a Syrian government delegation reportedly met on Friday at the UN in Geneva. The mediator is due to meet the Syrian opposition delegation later on Friday.

More than 65,000 flee Iraqi fighting in week – UN

More than 65,000 people have fled fighting in the Iraqi cities of Fallujah and Ramadi during the past week, the UN refugee agency UNHCR said on Friday. More than 140,000 have been made homeless since fighting broke out at the end of last year, Reuters quoted UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards as saying.

UK can renegotiate ties with the EU to avoid exit – Cameron

British Prime Minister David Cameron said Friday he was confident he could renegotiate his country’s relations with the EU to allow it to remain in the bloc. “I’m confident that we’ll have a successful renegotiation and a successful referendum,” Reuters quoted him as saying at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He referred to his plan to reshape his country’s EU ties before offering Britons an in/out referendum if he is re-elected next year.

No talks between Syrian govt, opposition due to transitional body demands

Face-to-face talks between the Syrian government and the opposition will not take place on Friday, the UN said. It also confirmed that the Syrian mediator, Lakhdar Brahimi, will meet Syrian government and opposition delegations separately on Friday, Reuters reported. The opposition delegates earlier said they would not meet with the delegation led by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem until it endorses the Geneva communique of June 30, 2012, calling for a transitional governing body to be established. Syria’s Information Minister, Omaran Zoabi, said Damascus will not accept opposition demands to form a transitional body. The Syrian delegation also said it is ready to discuss a ceasefire and the exchange of prisoners of war.

S. Sudan looters steal food to feed 220,000 for a month – UN

The UN World Food Program may have lost more than 3,700 tons of food in looting in South Sudan, enough to feed 220,000 people for a month, Reuters reported. WFP’s warehouses in Malakal had been almost entirely emptied, spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said on Friday in Geneva. The agency was working to recover lost stocks wherever possible and trying to protect remaining stocks.

Attack at German сourt leaves 1 killed and 1 wounded

One man has been killed and another is in a life-threatening condition after an attack in a courthouse in Frankfurt, German police said. The suspected attacker used a firearm and wielded a knife, dpa reported. He was arrested shortly afterward.

Philippine police detain 4, seize drugs worth $22mn

Philippine police have arrested four men and seized 1 billion pesos ($22 million) worth of methamphetamine. This was the second large drug bust in Manila in 10 days. The National Police anti-illegal drugs task force said the men were driving a van filled with five wooden crates containing 200kg of crystal methamphetamine when they were stopped on Friday. Last week, the National Bureau of Investigation arrested four Canadian men suspected of trafficking drugs from Mexico in separate raids. Agents recovered $2.25 million worth of cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA, which is similar to Ecstasy.


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#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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#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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#Geneva2: “The Syrian National Coordination Committee” has Decided to Boycott Peace Conference in Switzerland”

#AceBreakingNews says “Syrian National Coordination Committee” a faction in the domestic Syrian political opposition, has decided to boycott this month’s “#Geneva2 Peace Conference in Switzerland”, the UN envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, said as cited by Reuters.

Lakhdar Brahimi said in a statement that he respected the organisation’s decision not to join the opposition delegation to the talks but deeply regretted they would not be included and he has yet to announce the make-up of the two delegations to the talks, which are set to begin on January 22.

The National Coordination Committee was the main first opposition force to be formed in Syria’s three-year conflict.

#peace-acenewsservices, #geneva2, #lakhdar-brahimi, #reuters, #un


United Nations

After its call on all parties in Syria for humanitarian access to relieve the plight of civilians trapped by heavy fighting, the Security Council must show leadership to ensure cooperation for delivery of food and medicines, and protection measures, the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator urged today.

“I am extremely disappointed that we have not been able to make further progress on the ground,” said Valeria Amos as she briefed the Council this morning on the humanitarian situation in Syria.

“Three weeks have passed since the adoption of the Council’s Presidential Statement [on the issue]; with little change to report. Each day that passes without the parties upholding their most basic obligations results in more lost lives, more displaced people and more people denies access to the most basic services,” added Ms. Amos, who is also the Under-Secretary-general for Humanitarian Affairs.

On 2 October, the Council, in a Presidential Statement, urged the Syrian Government to immediately allow cross border aid deliveries, and also called on all parties to the conflict to agree on humanitarian pauses in the fighting, with special attention to key delivery routes.

The statement also deplored the escalating violence in a conflict that has already killed more than 100, 000 people and driven some 6.5 million other form their homes since opposition protesters first sought the ouster of the Government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011.

“Words, despite their ability to shock, cannot really paint a picture of the grime and gruesome reality of Syria today,” Ms. Amos said in today’s briefing. “I call upon all members of the Council to exert influence and take necessary action to stop this brutality and violence. This Council’s leadership role is vital.”

She said humanitarian pauses are needed in all locations “where communities are being held hostage by one party of the other to the conflict” to deliver food, medicine and shelter. “We need those who control the check-points, on both sides of the conflict to ensure the safe and unhindered passage of humanitarian convoys,” she added.

English: Valerie Amos, Baroness Amos at the 20...

English: Valerie Amos, Baroness Amos at the 2007 World Economic Forum on Africa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ms. Amos also said that people must be allowed to move to safer areas without fear of attack and that he Syrian Government must immediately lift all bureaucratic impediments to humanitarian operation, including visa delays.

The suffering will only get worse as the fighting intensifies and winter sets in, she said, warning: “this is a race against time.”

Speaking to reporters after her briefing, Ms. Amos reiterated her disappointment at the lack of progress in efforts to alleviate the suffering in Syria and said: “What we are seeing is a deepening of the crisis, more and more people affected and in particular I expressed my concern about the extremely brutal and violent nature of this conflict.”

Ms. Amos said she asked the Council to consider a number of measures which would help implement the Presidential Statement and had expressed the desire to discuss the issues in further detail.

She said Council members had listened to her proposals “very carefully” and had asked questions of their own, including on the attitude of both the Government and the opposition to the aims of the Statement; on the security situation and what might be hampering aid delivery; and on specific issues such as the situations of women and children.

“The situation on the ground has not fundamentally changed [since the adoption of the Presidential Statement]. What I need is the political support of the Security Council members and other Members of the United Nations to really make a difference,” she said.

On the political front, UN Spokesperson Martin Nesirky said the Joint Special Representative for Syria of the UN and the League of Arab States, Lakhdar Brahimi, is in Qatar today, where he met the Emir to discuss the crisis and preparations for an international conference on Syria, to be held in Geneva.

He said that yesterday, Mr. Brahimi was in Turkey where he met with General Salim Idriss of the Free Syrian Army and 10 of his military commanders, and they also discussed the holding of a conference on Syria. “The Joint Special Representative reiterated his view that there is no military solution to the Syrian crisis and that all efforts should be exerted to stop the conflict and end the suffering of the Syrian people,” Mr. Nesirky said.

He said that before travelling to Doha, Mr. Brahimi met today in Ankara with Ahmet Davotuglu, Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, to discuss preparations for the Geneva conference. Mr. Brahimi heads to Tehran tomorrow.

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