Saturday, July 20, 2019 01:35

UN’s Syria specialist to visit Iran in advance of new talks

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Lakhdar Brahimi

Iranian media report that the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, will travel to Iran next week to discuss the talks on Syria to be held in Geneva.

IRNA reports that Lakhdar Brahimi will visit Tehran next week in preparation for the Geneva 2 talks and is scheduled to meet with the Iranian president, foreign minister and speaker of Parliament.

The Geneva 2 talks are tentatively scheduled for November 23 with the objective of finding a resolution to the Syrian crisis.

The secretary general of the Arab League was quoted as saying after his meeting with Brahimi that there are still many obstacles in the way of these talks.

In the same vein, the opposition group Syrian National Council announced last week that it will not participate in the Geneva talks.

Iran was not a part of the first Geneva talks, which took place about four months ago. Saudi Arabia, another major regional player, was not involved in the talks either.

Russia has called for Iran to be involved in the new talks as an effective regional force, but the U.S. and European countries have resisted the notion.

Iran has been a loyal supporter of the Beshar Assad government throughout the Syrian conflict, and its participation in the talks has also been rejected by the Syrian opposition forces.

The Syrian conflict has now entered its third year, and reports indicate that so far at least 80,000 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands have been displaced as a result.