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 Lakhdar Brahimi (The Guardian)
Lakhdar Brahimi (The Guardian)

Brahimi welcomes U.S.-Russia accord

(Dp-news)

Agencies- the international envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, welcomed Wednesday a new U.S-Russian initiative to end the 26-month-old Syria conflict through negotiations.



Lakhdar Brahimi, joint special representative of the United Nations and the Arab League for Syria, on Wednesday welcomed the statements by Russia and the United States on the Syrian conflict, calling them "a very significant first step forward," a spokesman told reporters in the UN.

Brahimi "has warmly welcomed the statements made on Tuesday in Moscow by Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and United States Secretary of State John Kerry about Syria," said UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky at the daily briefing.



This is the first hopeful news concerning that unhappy country in a very long time, Nesirky said.



According to Nesirky, Brahimi, who is currently attending a meeting of The Elders in Ireland, has consistently called on the U. S. and Russia to exercise leadership and work together to initiate a process to implement the Geneva Declaration of June 30, 2012.

"The statements made in Moscow constitute a very significant first step forward. It is nevertheless only a first step," the spokesperson quoted Brahimi as saying.

The special representative also called on all UN Security Council members to work together and with the secretary-general to carry the process forward.

A decision to convene an international conference later this month to build on a transition plan for Syria is "the first hopeful news" concerning Syria "in a very long time," Brahimi said Wednesday.



Speaking to the BBC, Brahimi said he hoped the Moscow announcements would be a wake-up call for all concerned, and that they would now think only of the Syrian people and how Syria could be saved.



The goal of the plan, set out in Geneva last year, is to bring the Assad regime and opposition representatives together for talks on an interim government. Each side would be allowed to veto candidates it finds unacceptable.

The proposal also calls for an open-ended cease-fire and the formation of a transitional government to run the country until new elections can be held.



Brahimi has repeatedly expressed frustration over the failure to find a political solution in Syria, and has lamented the divisions on the U.N. Security Council that have prevented any international action.



According to UN, some 4.25 million people have been displaced with more than 1.4 million of them seeking refuge in neighboring countries from a conflict that has killed over 70,000 people since the Syrian crisis broke out in March 2011 and later descended into violence.



The UN estimates that some 6.8 million people inside Syria are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, and nearly half of them being children.

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