U.N. should re-energize Geneva Two on Syria: Brahimi

By Erol Avdovic, Thursday, March 13, 2014

Envoy Brahimi suspects opposition will boycott any planned elections in Syria as war moves into fourth year

Envoy Brahimi suspects opposition will boycott any planned elections in Syria as war moves into fourth year

UNITED NATIONS – Organizers of the Geneva Two political negotiations on Syria want to see the process move forward with help from UN Security Council, Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N. chief envoy for Syria told reporters on Thursday.

“We would very much like to continue this Geneva process, but we would like the help of the Council and of all those who can help to make sure that if, and when, we have the third round, it will be a little bit more productive than the second round,” Brahimi said in front of the UNSC following a briefing with the Council's member states.

The United Nations and Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria pointed out that either a UN Security Council press statement or a declaration of the Council’s president would be welcomed.

Asked by journalists to explain his previous position, that possible Syrian elections, announced by government in Damascus “would torpedo the Geneva process,” Mr. Brahimi hinted that they still remain a possibility:

“First of all there is not – to my knowledge – official declaration yet in Damascus that these elections are going to take place,” Mr. Brahimi said. “But”, he added “there are lot of activities that seem to indicate that”.

“If there is an election, my suspicion is, that the opposition – all the opposition will probably not be interested in that process.”

Brahimi said he was not in the UN Security Council to seek help from any particular member-state regarding moving the political process forward but to talk to the entire Council.

In the Security Council Brahimi appealed in particular to the Russian Federation and the United States to help the Geneva Two peace talks and “to take clear steps to re-energize the process”.

Western media and political analysts have already described Geneva Two as being a dead end, especially as Moscow and Washington continue to quarrel over Ukraine.

Nizar Aboud, an Arab journalist and Middle East political analyst based at the U.N. in New York, told Anadolu Agency (AA): "If the Americans and Russians continue to beat their heads over Ukraine, Mr. Brahimi will look for his way out. Without U.S. and Russian support for the Syrian peace process this UN envoy will probably offer his resignation as his predecessor (former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan) did".

Brahimi went on to say: “I did not talk (only) to Russia here. I talked to all the Security Council, of which Russia is a member. All I did is to draw their attention to this. It is up to them whether they can do something, whether is it necessary, useful, important to do something".

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also spoke on on Thursday, calling on the international community not to turn their focus from Syria and for renewed political efforts on reaching political solution there.

“The Secretary-General deeply regrets the inability of the international community, the region and the Syrians themselves to put a stop to this appalling conflict,” Ban’s spokesperson said in a written statement to mark three years of Syrian civil war.

After 1,095 days of suffering in Syria, since the brutal war started in March 2011, the U.N. is now calling the conflict “the biggest humanitarian and security crisis in the world”.

Some 130,000 people have died in Syria since early 2011. According to the UN Refugee Agency more than 2.4 million refugees are registered in the region: some 932,000 in Lebanon; 574,000 in Jordan; 613,000 in Turkey; 223,000 in Iraq; and about 134,000 in Egypt.

The UN Secretary General and his Syrian envoy are scheduled to brief the U.N. General Assembly on the situation on Friday.

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