23 January 2014

Syrian Peace Talks started, all sides urged to seize opportunity to end bloodshed

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened on 22 January 2014 a concerted new effort to end the brutal civil war in Syria, urging the government, the opposition, and representatives of some 40 other states and regional organisations to seize the historic opportunity to end the bloodshed.

The meeting of the high-level segment of the UN peace conference on Syria in Montreux, Switzerland, which is intended to give international support to the efforts to resolve the deadly conflict that has torn Syria apart, will be followed on 24 January by talks between the Syrian parties at the UN headquarters in Geneva in what will be the first time that the government and opposition meet at a negotiating table since the conflict started in March 2011. The basis of the talks is full implementation of an action plan adopted in the so-called Geneva Communiqué of 2012, which calls for a transitional government to lead to free and fair elections.

‘You have an enormous opportunity and responsibility to render historic service to the Syrian people,’ Mr. Ban said, specifically addressing the Syrian government and opposition delegations. He stressed that the Syrians themselves have the primary responsibility to end the conflict, determine their political system and future, and start rebuilding their country, while the duty of all members of the international community, whether present at the conference or not, is to do everything within their power to help them achieve these goals.

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Source: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon | Latest Statements | Secretary-General's remarks at the High Level Segment of the Geneva Conference on Syria | Montreux, 22 January 2014
Source: Action Group for Syria | Final Communique | 30.06.2012

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