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Posted on: February 17th, 2013 by AlYunaniya Staff No Comments

Brahimi urges talks between Syrian government and opposition

Brahimi - UN

photo: UNHCR

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The United Nations envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi called on Sunday for talks between the Syrian government and opposition to end the 23-month old conflict.

After a meeting at Arab League headquarters in Cairo with Nabil Elaraby, Brahimi said negotiations could begin on United Nations headquarters.

Brahimi told if dialogue starts at the U.N. headquarters between the opposition and a delegation from the Syrian government, it will be the beginning for getting Syria out of this dark tunnel.

Exiled Syrian opposition leader Mouaz al-Khatib has offered to hold peace talks with the Syrian government, saying he is willing to sit down with the deputy of President Bashar al-Assad.

It is uncertain whether he had received any indication of Syria’s willingness to enter into talks with Alkhatib and the SNC.

An estimated 60,000 people have been killed since the uprising began against Assad’s rule in March 2011.

Khatib is expected to visit Assad’s supporters in Moscow in the coming weeks, as is Assad’s foreign minister Walid Muallem, according to Syrian state television.

Meanwhile, clashes took place between several rebel groups and regime forces near the Neyrab military airport on Sunday with rebels taking over a military checkpoint near the airport.

At the same time, the U.N. refugee agency says it has not yet received the funds recently pledged for Syrian refugees and is struggling to help the rising numbers fleeing the country’s conflict. Andrew Harper, the agency’s representative to Jordan, told AP on Sunday that the $1.5 billion pledged last month at an international donor conference in Kuwait “has not come through.”

With no end in sight to the conflict, tens of thousands of Syrians continue to flee their homes, many seeking shelter outside Lebanon. More than 720,000 Syrians are now either registered as refugees or awaiting registration in neighbouring countries, including almost 240,000 in Lebanon.

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