The U.N.’s special representative to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, in an exclusive interview with Al Arabiya on Sunday said that the convening of the Geneva II conference is not certain. He added, however, that if it does take place it will revive talks for a political transition in war-torn Syria.
Brahimi also said that although it has been announced that Geneva II will be held by mid-November, the exact date has not yet been agreed.
The U.N. envoy to Syria said the expected meeting in Switzerland aims to implement the the platform of Geneva I and its June 30, 2012 declaration.
This declaration calls for a transitional government to be set up, made up of members of the current government and the opposition. It called for the new government to have full executive powers, including control over the country’s armed forces and security forces.
In this exclusive interview with Al Arabiya’s New York Bureau Chief Talal al-Haj, Brahimi said that the Geneva II meeting will differ from its predecessor as both the government and the Syrian opposition will participate by sending separate delegations. There will also be the possibility of inviting Iran.
Brahmi added that it would be beneficial to the situation if Iran takes part in this critical conference, but confirmed that Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, the Arab League secretary-general and other Arab countries will be invited.
Syria’s main opposition group has announced its rejection of the proposed Iranian presence, saying that Iran is a main-backer of President Bashar al-Assad and is participating in the killing of Syrian people.
Brahimi stated that both the Syrian government and opposition should attend the conference without setting any preconditions and added that he would like to see one delegation representing the opposition including all its various parties.
Brahimi welcomed the concept of humanitarian corridors, which were earlier proposed by France to provide aid to the civilian population in Syria.
He, however, expressed concern over who would establish and protect these corridors, emphasizing the need for safety precautions and protection for those who provide aid.
Brahimi, who is returning to Geneva on Wednesday, expressed his concern over the prolonged negotiations regarding the humanitarian situation in Syria saying he does not want the Syrians to face what the Palestinians faced; 20 years of ongoing negotiations.
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