UN envoy calls for productive Syria peace talks

United Nations, March 14: UN-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi Thursday called for help to assist him in pressing for peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition groups to end conflict in the country.

“We would very much like to continue this Geneva process, but we would like the help of the Security Council and of all those who can help to make sure that if, and when, we have the third round, it will be a little bit more productive than the second round,” Xinhua quoted Brahimi telling reporters here after briefing the 15-nation Council.

Two rounds of Syria peace talks earlier this year, the first in January followed by a second round in February, saw both sides sticking to their positions without making substantial headway.

In a statement issued Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon said Syria was now “the biggest humanitarian and peace and security crisis” facing the world.

The UN chief appealed to the region and the international community to “take clear steps to reenergize the Geneva process”.

More than 100,000 people have been killed and the UN estimates that some 6.3 million people have been internally displaced since the conflict broke out in March 2011 in the Middle East country.

Over two million Syrians have fled to neighbouring countries, including Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

IANS