Both sides in Syrian talks to meet in ‘same room’
GENEVA — Bending to intense international pressure, Syria’s government and the Western-backed opposition agreed Friday to face each other for the first time since the start of the uprising against President Bashar Assad.
After three days of hostile rhetoric and five hours spent assiduously avoiding contact within the United Nations, the two sides will meet “in the same room,” said the U.N. mediator trying to forge an end to the civil war that has resulted in 130,000 people dead since 2011.
Mediator Lakhdar Brahimi met separately with Assad’s delegation and representatives with the Syrian National Coalition, who arrived at the U.N. European headquarters five hours apart to ensure their paths would not cross.
“We never expected it to be easy and I’m sure it’s not going to be, but I think the two parties understand what’s at stake,” Brahimi said. “Their country is in very, very bad shape.”
Brahimi, a famously patient mediator, is credited with efforts to stabilize Iraq and Afghanistan after the U.S. ousted their governments. He faces a formidable task to build peace in Syria.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.