Last updated: 22 October, 2013

Meeting in Geneva to prepare Syria peace talks

UN and Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi will meet again in early November with US and Russian officials to prepare for a Syria peace conference, the United Nations said Tuesday.

The preparatory meeting will be held in Geneva November 5 and will be followed the same day by a meeting with the other three permanent members of the UN Security Council — France, Britain and China, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said. He did not say at what level they would meet.

Several preparatory meetings have previously been held in Geneva, the Hague and New York, generally at the level of deputy foreign ministers or under secretary of state.

The United States, Russia and the United Nations have been trying for several months to convene a peace conference on Syria, dubbed Geneva 2, but the United Nations maintains it is up to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to issue invitations, and he hasn’t done so yet.

Efforts to persuade the Syrian regime and the opposition to take part have intensified, with Brahimi making the rounds of the region.

“Mr Brahimi was in Oman today and goes to Jordan tomorrow,” Nesirky said.

Meanwhile, Brahimi’s deputy, Nasser al-Kidwa, was in Turkey to meet with Syrian opposition leaders.

“We are working hard to convene the Geneva conference in mid-November,” Jeffrey Feltman, UN under secretary for political affairs, told the UN Security Council.

The conference is supposed to put in place a plan for a political transition in Syria drawn up by the world powers in June 2012 but never implemented.