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Brahimi's shuttle diplomacy rekindles hopes of solution to Syrian crisis

English.news.cn   2012-12-29 05:29:11            
 • Brahimi is conducting a shuttle diplomacy in another drive to end the 21-month-long Syrian crisis.
 • His talks were culminated by a suggestion to form a transitional government.
 • Brahimi would reportedly return to Geneva to work on achieving a U.S.-Russian compatibility.


DAMASCUS, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- The UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi is conducting a shuttle diplomacy in yet another drive to end the 21-month-long Syrian crisis, rekindling hopes of a possible breakthrough given the apparent Russian-U.S. rapprochement and resolve to find an exit for the intractable crisis.

Brahimi has held meetings with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and representatives of the opposition groups during his recent visit to Syria. His talks were culminated by a suggestion to form a transitional government with "full executive powers." However, he stopped short of defining the future role of Assad.

Brahimi, who would leave Syria Saturday for Moscow for further talks, revealed that he would have discussions with U.S. officials soon.

Media reports said Brahimi has carried with him to Syria a proposal to form a transitional government with broad executive powers. The proposal suggests that Assad keep power till the end of his presidential term in 2014 without having the right to run once again for the next presidential elections.

After a meeting with Brahimi on Tuesday, opposition groups in Syria talked about some "positive" results, but refused to discuss any settlement that does not include the departure of the Assad government.

General coordinator of the opposition National Coordination Body, Hassan Abdel-Azim, told reporters that Brahimi would work to reach an international consensus, especially a Russian-U.S. one, to solve the crisis.

Abdel-Azim indicated that the Syrian government has agreed on a number of points, most notably the cessation of violence and the formation of a transitional government with full authority.

However, he stressed that the issue of Assad's staying in power during the transitional period remains the only sticking point, adding that Brahimi assured him that his mission did not fail and he has unwavering resolve to achieve a breakthrough.

Brahimi would reportedly return to Geneva to work on achieving a U.S.-Russian compatibility for another Geneva conference. If he gained such a consensus, a new resolution would be issued by the UN Security Council, binding both the opposition and the Syrian government.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has recently warned that the chances of resolving the Syrian crisis on the basis of the Geneva Conference still exist, but dwindle.

Yet, he said that those chances should be sustained, because " bloody anarchy" would be the alternative.

The Geneva conference's statement, which was endorsed by the " working group" on Syria on June 30, calls for the formation of a transitional government in Syria combining representatives of the government and the opposition to hold legislative elections and presidential elections.

Both Brahimi and Lavrov have reiterated that the Geneva conference is still the suitable basis to build on.

Brahimi said during a press conference in Damascus that the provisions of the Geneva conference are suitable for every time and everywhere. Likewise, Lavrov said the recent trilateral contacts in Geneva attended by Russia, the United States and Brahimi have emphasized that the possibilities to find common points regarding the implementation of the Geneva conference's provisions still exist.

"We are determined to proceed in this way. The ball is now in the court of our partners who support a political solution verbally but in fact incite the continuation of the war to topple Bashar al-Assad," Lavrov said.

He stressed that any settlement requires coordinated efforts by all external parties that should "speak with one voice and work for seating the Syrian government and the opposition groups to the negotiating table."

Russia, the Syrian government's main ally that had vetoed three U.S. resolutions against Syria and refused to follow suit of some other countries in recognizing the opposition coalition as the sole representative of the Syrian people, has lately shown leniency in dealing with the coalition.

Mikhail Bogdanov, Russian deputy foreign minister, said his country has sent an invitation to Ahmed Maaz Khatib, head of the opposition coalition, to meet with Syrian representatives in Moscow, Geneva or Cairo.

On Wednesday, Alexander Ukashevi, spokesman for the Russian foreign ministry, said Moscow would continue contacts with all spectrums of the Syrian opposition "that are interested in understanding the Russian position more clearly."

A Syrian government delegation headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad is now in Moscow to discuss the Syrian crisis with Russian officials and sound out whether the Geneva conference is still workable.

Syria has previously made it clear that the Geneva conference is the best formula to find a way out of the crisis.

Observers believe that following the recent visit of Brahimi to Damascus, an international tendency, especially a Russian-U.S. one, toward a political solution to the Syrian crisis has been crystallized.


Brahimi calls for transition gov't and end to violence in Syria

DAMASCUS, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- UN-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi has called for forming transition government with full executive powers that could pave a way for peace in the country.

Speaking at a press conference held here on Thursday, Brahimi said "We need to form a government with all powers which will assume power during a period of transition."  Full story

Brahimi says no Russian-American plan on Syria

DAMASCUS, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- The UN-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said Thursday that there is no American- Russian plan on Syria yet.  Full story

Editor: Yang Lina
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