UN-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi speaks at a press conferece in Geneva, Switzerland, Feb. 13, 2014. Russia and the United States reaffirmed their support to the ongoing second round of Geneva II conference on Syria and assured that they would help to push forward the stalled peace talks, Brahimi said on Thursday. (Xinhua/Wang Siwei)
GENEVA, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- Russia and the United States reaffirmed their support to the ongoing second round of Geneva II conference on Syria and assured that they would help to push forward the stalled peace talks, said UN-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi on Thursday.
After the two-hour long trilateral meeting with Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Gennady Gatilov and U.S. Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman held this afternoon amid the current round of negotiations between Syrian two warring sides, Brahimi told a press conference that the "regular" trilateral meeting was "useful and important."
The envoy briefed the two sides, which initiated the Geneva II conference, about the progress of the peaceful process which is in an effort to solve the nearly three-year-old Syria conflict.
"They have kindly reaffirmed their support to what we are trying to do, and promise that they will help both here and in their capitals and elsewhere to unblock the situation for us, because until now we are not making much progress in this process," said Brahimi.
The international mediator said in the near future, though the exact date was not set yet, he would travel to New York, the location of the UN headquarters, to report to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and probably also to the Security Council, in regard of the Syria peace talks.
When asked about whether the ongoing conference would end up as a failure, Brahimi, after noting the difficulty and complication of the situation, answered: "Failure is always staring at us in the face. As far as the United Nations is concerned, we will certainly not leave one stone unturned if there is a possibility to move forward."
After the first round of Geneva II negotiations between the delegations of Syrian government and the opposition mediated by Brahimi adjourned some ten days ago without concrete results achieved, the second round resumed here on Monday morning and was expected to last a whole week.
But so far the two sides still haven't found common ground during the current round of talks, with no side softening their tones.
The government side insisted to take stopping violence and terrorism as top priority, while the opposition focused on the establishment of a transitional governing body with full executives and without the presence of President Bashar al-Assad.
In an attempt to solve the sticking point, Brahimi said earlier that he suggested the two sides in a memorandum sent by himself to them in advance of this fresh round of talks to discuss the two issues in parallel, saying that "they are both important matters."
However, it seemed that so far the talks did not witness progress in this regard.
Brahimi repeated this late afternoon that these issues were not going to be solved "this week or next week or even the week after," and the aim was to "put these very important and very complicated issues on the table", and after that to see how to deal with them in the future.
The tripartite meeting held this afternoon was the latest one of those between UN, Moscow and Washington since June 2013 which have led to the kickoff of Geneva II conference in January.
The first round of the UN-backed international conference started with a ministerial meeting chaired by Ban Ki-moon on the first day, which was then followed by the face-to-face negotiations between delegations of the Syrian government and the opposition mediated by Brahimi. It was the first time in three years for representatives from the two sides met with each other.
The two sides agreed to hold negotiations under the framework of the Geneva Communique, adopted in 2012, but they were far apart in their approach to talks, divided over the order of discussed issues.
DAMASCUS, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- The representative of the of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Tarik Kurdi said Thursday that Syria is witnessing a "noticeable" progress in the humanitarian work field.
Speaking to reporters at the UNHCR headquarters in the capital of Damascus, Kurdi said the UNHCR with the help of the Syrian authorities and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) was able to evacuate as many as 1,300 afflicted people from the old city of the central Homs province. Full story
UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- More than 1,370 people have so far been evacuated from Syria's embattled Old Homs City under a humanitarian pause since Friday, and the UN relief agency is delivering aid to the hard-to-reach areas in the war-torn Middle East country, a UN spokesman said Thursday.
"Food, medical supplies and essential household and hygiene items have been delivered for 2,500 people in total, with enough food for one month," UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said at a daily briefing here, quoting the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Full story