UN mediator to meet Syrian government, opposition

Updated: 2014-01-24 19:32


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UN mediator to meet Syrian government, opposition

UN special envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi speaks to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (R) during a news conference after the Geneva-2 peace talks in Montreux January 22, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

GENEVA - United Nations mediator Lakhdar Brahimi is going to have meetings with delegations of the Syrian government and the opposition separately on Friday, confirmed a UN spokeswoman.

Alessandra Vellucci from the UN office in Geneva told the press that Brahimi, Joint Special Representative for Syria, will meet the Syrian government delegation led by Foreign Minister Walid al Moallem at 11 am Friday, and will talk with the opposition at 4 pm.

"As Mr. Brahimi has announced in Montreux, the process of negotiation didn't go on as foreseen in the beginning," she said, adding that the mediator might need a few weeks to prepare for direct talks between the conflicting sides in Geneva.

The international conference on Syria kicked off Wednesday in the lakeside Swiss city of Montreux, and the first full day of peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition is slated to start on Friday.

The spokeswoman did not disclose who should be responsible for the change of schedule.

"There have been changes and there will be changes," she said, "For the moment we are going step by step."

The UN-backed Geneva II aim to end the three-year-long conflict in Syria which has claimed more than 100,000 lives. For the first time, it has brought the old foes to sit down at a same negotiating table.

However, the ministerial meeting in Montreux has seen clashes between the two sides, dampening hopes for a breakthrough in efforts to solve the issue.