Geneva Meeting on Syria Begins

Geneva Meeting on Syria Begins.

Geneva Meeting on Syria Begins
Local Editor
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon (left), UN-AL envoy Kofi Annan (middle) and Russian foriegn minister Sergei Lavrov (right) before Geneva meeting; June 30, 2012The foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and four other Middle Eastern states have gathered in Geneva to hold talks on the current situation in Syria.

The representatives of Russia, China, the United States, Britain and France along with Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait and Iraq began the meeting at the United Nations office on Saturday.

The participants in the Geneva meeting were convened by the UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan.

On June 27, some UN diplomats said Annan has proposed the formation of a Syrian transitional government that could include supporters of President Bashar al-Assad and opposition members.

The proposal was expected to be one of the main points of focus during the Geneva meeting.

Lavrov also stated that Russia supports the idea of a “transitional period” in Syria, which would be discussed in Geneva.

“We support changes which work towards national agreement on all questions of overdue reform.”

However, a senior US official, whose name was not mentioned in the reports, said on Saturday that the discussions of Geneva “remain challenging.”

“We need a plan that is strong and credible, so we may get there, we may not,” the US official said.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011.

On February 4, Russia and China vetoed a Western-backed draft resolution on Syria at the UN Security Council. The two countries rejected the draft as “unbalanced.”

Moscow and Beijing also vetoed a European-drafted UN Security Council resolution against Syria on October 5, 2011.

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