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International conference on Syria likely to be held in July: UN


11:11, June 06, 2013

UNITED NATIONS, June 5 (Xinhua) -- An international conference on Syria, which aims to find a political solution to the country's prolonged crisis, is not likely to be held in June, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said Wednesday at a daily news briefing.

The spokesman quoted Lakhdar Brahimi, the joint special representative of the United Nations and the Arab League for Syria, as saying that "there is still a lot of work to do to bring a conference about and that it will not be possible to hold the conference in June."

Brahimi, the former Algerian foreign minister, told reporters in Geneva following the talks held there on Wednesday between senior U.S., Russian and UN officials, that "he was happy with the constructive nature of today's discussions and believes that further positive steps have been taken towards the convening of an international conference on Syria."

Brahimi said that he would continue consultations with Russia and the United States on holding the conference as soon as possible, possibly in July, adding that the three parties would meet again in Geneva on June 25.

He acknowledged on Wednesday that the situation in Syria is " absolutely tragic" and said "it was embarrassing that a conference had not been held already.

Russian and U.S. officials announced last month their intention to convene an international conference to achieve a political solution to the conflict in Syria through a comprehensive agreement between the government and the opposition for the full implementation of the Geneva communique issued on June 30, 2012.

The Syria crisis has reportedly claimed more than 70,000 lives since March 2011 and also left 6.8 million people in need, and sent more than 1.5 million Syrians fleeing to neighboring countries.

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