Brahimi: Syrian government, opposition to meet Saturday
Published Friday, January 24, 2014
Syria's government and opposition have agreed to meet in the same room on Saturday and accept that their talks will be based on a 2012 communique which called for a transitional governing body to be set up, mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said on Friday.
"Tomorrow we have agreed that we shall meet in same room," Brahimi told a news conference after he held separate meetings with government and opposition delegations in Geneva.
"The discussions I had with the two parties were encouraging," he said, adding that negotiations would be based on a June 2012 statement by world powers which called for the two sides to agree on the establishment of the transitional body.
An opposition delegate confirmed that they would indeed come face-to-face with government officials over the weekend after initially refusing to meet Friday unless the regime agreed to stick to the plan calling for a transitional body.
The Syrian government delegation in turn threatened to quit the talks due to the lack of progress.
But things appeared to be set back in motion after Brahimi met separately with both delegations Friday.
The Saturday meeting would start at the United Nations in Geneva at 10:00 am (0900 GMT), according to the opposition delegate.
"We are satisfied with Mr. Brahimi's statement today and that the regime has accepted Geneva I (communique). And on this basis we will meet the Assad delegation tomorrow morning. It will be a short session in which only Brahimi will speak, to be followed by another session, a longer session in the afternoon," Anas al-Abdah, an opposition delegate told Reuters.
Brahimi during a press conference said that both delegations would remain in Geneva over the weekend.