Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Israel's minorities and military service

Read more

DEBATE

Libya unrest: National Assembly asks for UN help to dissolve militias

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan's Political Turmoil: Can Imran Khan's PTI Party Depose the Government? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan's Political Turmoil: Can Imran Khan's PTI Party Depose the Government?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

#IceBucketChallenge and hashtag activism

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bellwether for what not to do

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The world’s dictators love the unrest in Ferguson'

Read more

ENCORE!

Montreal Stories

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

More than half of French households will pay no income tax this year

Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • Ex-PM Juppé announces bid for 2017 French presidential race

    Read more

  • A new view on Normandy landings, 70 years on

    Read more

  • Dozens killed as landslides strike Japan’s Hiroshima

    Read more

  • Deadly airstrikes hit Gaza as ceasefire with Israel collapses

    Read more

  • Tentative peace in Ferguson despite second fatal shooting

    Read more

  • Suspected Ebola cases in Austria, new drug raises hopes

    Read more

  • WWII anniversary highlights best - and worst - of Paris police

    Read more

  • Headscarf at the beach sparks French MEP’s fury

    Read more

  • Iraqi army clashes with militants in Tikrit after retaking key dam

    Read more

  • Video: Life in under-siege Donetsk

    Read more

  • Racism, riots and police violence: USA under scrutiny

    Read more

  • ‘Let it be’: Londoners sick of Abbey Road tourists

    Read more

Middle east

No Syria peace talks 'before December’

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-11-05

The so-called “Geneva 2” talks to find a solution to the Syria conflict will “take place no earlier than December”, Russian media quoted a diplomatic source as saying Tuesday, appearing to scupper hopes the conference would be held this month.

Planned talks in Geneva to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Syria will not take place until December at the earliest, Russian media quoted a source as saying on Tuesday following a meeting of US, Russian and UN diplomats.

"The conference will take place no earlier than December," a source close to Tuesday’s talks told Russia's ITAR-TASS news agency. No further information was provided by the news report.

The so-called “Geneva 2” peace talks on the 31-month Syria crisis were proposed in May during a meeting in Moscow between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry with the intention of establishing a transitional governing body in Syria with full executive powers.

Lavrov had said at the time that he hoped the conference could take place by the end of May. Kerry said he thought a June date was more realistic.

However, disagreements over who should be represented at the talks have led to repeated delays, with Russia calling for Iran to be given a place around the negotiating table.

Some powerful rebel groups have also made Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s removal from power a condition for their attendance - a stance rejected by both Damascus and Moscow.

Most recently, November 23 had been tentatively put forward as a possible date for the talks to begin, but this was never confirmed by the UN.

On Tuesday, UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi met with US Under Secretary Wendy Sherman, US ambassador to Syria Robert Ford and Russian deputy foreign ministers Mikhail Bogdanov and Gennady Gatilov in Geneva in an effort to find solutions to some of the obstacles to Geneva 2.

A UN source told Reuters that that even if a conference date could not be announced immediately, the intention was to “at least see that all the parties and groups are ready for a date”.

The source said that any date for the conference would be formally set by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, probably after the Syrian opposition meets on November 9.

“Mr Brahimi would like to see the conference this year, he doesn’t want to see it postponed,” the source said.

Russia: Iran must be included in talks

Hours earlier, Russia had reiterated its stance that Iran must be invited to any such peace talks, after the main Syrian political opposition leader said his coalition would not attend if Tehran took part.

Foreign Minister Lavrov also rejected Syrian National Coalition chief Ahmad Jarba’s demand for a time-frame for Assad to quit, ruling out any such preconditions for Geneva 2.

“All those with influence on the situation must certainly be invited,” Lavrov told a news conference. “This includes not only Arab countries, but also Iran.”

However, he indicated that Iran and other outside players need only be represented at the outset of the conference proposed by the United States and Russia.

“At subsequent stages the Syrians - as conceived by the Russian-American duet and supported by everyone else - will talk to each other directly with mediation by... Brahimi and his team,” Lavrov said.

Saudi Arabia and the United States oppose any invitation for Iran, which along with Russia, is a firm ally of Assad.

The Syrian regime, meanwhile, remains resolute that Assad will not be stepping down before Geneva 2 despite opposition demands.

“Syria - the state, the nation and the people - will remain and... Assad will be president of this country all the time they are dreaming that he isn’t,” the Syrian state news agency quoted Information Minister Omran Zoabi as saying on Monday night.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-11-05

  • SYRIA

    Syria's declared chemical weapons facilities destroyed

    Read more

  • SYRIA - DIPLOMACY

    World set for new round of diplomacy on Syria

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Russia warns US ahead of Syria talks in Geneva

    Read more

COMMENT(S)