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US and Russia fail to agree on date for Geneva 2 meeting

January 30, 2014 at 1:49 pm

As tripartite US, UN and Russian discussions in Geneva about Syria ended Tuesday, deputy Russian Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said that no time was set for the Geneva meeting.

“We agreed on many issues regarding the framework of the conference, but many other issues are still outstanding,” Gatilov said. “One of the outstanding issues is who will participate.”

Iran’s participation, according to Gatilov, is important. “Other parties do not accept this,” he said. “According to the Geneva statement, no preconditions have to be raised over the convention of the conference.”

Regarding the other participants, Gatilov said that this would be clear soon. He said that the Syrian government agreed to participate, but the opposition has not given its final decision yet. “The US is still working with them,” he said.

The Russian official said that upcoming discussions would be carried out by Russian and US foreign ministers. They are to work on sorting out the outstanding issues. They are going to meet, Gatilov said, in Brunei.

He said that the issue of supplying weapons to the regime by Russia or to the opposition by other parties was not discussed in the meeting. “All this has a negative effect and does not afford a positive political atmosphere to launch a negotiation process,” Gatilov said.

For his part, spokesman of the UN Secretary General Martin Nesirky said: “The discussions were constructive and they concentrated on posing all possible chances to help holding the Geneva conference about Syria.” He said that Russian and US foreign ministers are meeting next week.

“Later on, Nesirky said that Russian, UN and US discussions are to take place in order to set the time of the conference, as well as the participants.”

The Russian and American delegations to the discussions in Geneva were represented by deputies of foreign ministers of both countries, and the UN delegation was represented by the UN and Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.