Brahimi to Consult with US Russian Officials on Syrian Peace Effort

VoA – News
Thursday 13th February, 2014

The man brokering the Syrian peace talks in Geneva is meeting Thursday with officials from Russia and the United States, as they focus on how to push forward a process that so far has achieved little success.

U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has brought the Syrian government and opposition together for negotiations this week, but wide gaps remain on the main goal of establishing a transitional government in Syria.

His discussions Thursday with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov and U.S. Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman are the latest in a series of meetings with the two nations that led the effort to convene the peace talks.

The opposition presented a plan Wednesday for the creation of a transitional authority and a cease-fire under U.N. monitoring, but Syrian officials dismissed the proposal.

The Syrian delegation has repeatedly said the negotiations must focus first on fighting terrorism and not a transition plan.

Meanwhile, diplomats at the United Nations have said Russia has offered counter proposals to a draft Security Council resolution on humanitarian aid for Syria.

Russia objected to the Western-Arab draft as one-sided against President Bashar al-Assad’s government, and said it would use its veto power to block the measure. Diplomats have said the five permanent members of the council will work to combine the draft ideas into a new document.

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