UN envoy hopes for Syria peace conference within weeks

By REUTERS
November 1, 2013 11:34

BEIRUT - The United Nations envoy to Syria said on Friday he hoped a long-delayed peace conference could still be held in the next few weeks despite obstacles that have held it up for months.

The so-called Geneva 2 conference, intended to bring Syria's warring sides to the negotiating table, has been repeatedly delayed because of disputes between world powers, divisions among the opposition and the inflexible positions of both sides.

Arab and Western officials said this week that international powers were unlikely to meet their goal of holding the conference in November.

UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, speaking at a news conference in Damascus after a trip to shore up support for the talks, said he would go to Geneva to meet US and Russian representatives.

They would later be joined by representatives from the other three permanent UN Security Council members - Britain, China and France - to prepare for the conference and agree on a date.

Asked when the conference might be held, he said: "We hope it will be in the coming weeks, not next year or after that."


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