U.N. diplomat: Syrian conference won't be in July

June 25, 2013 at 2:53 PM
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GENEVA, Switzerland, June 25 (UPI) -- The planned conference to seek a political solution to the Syrian crisis will probably not be held in July, the U.N. envoy on Syria said Tuesday.

Lakhdar Brahimi, the special representative on Syria and the Arab League, made the prediction in a statement before his meeting with Russian diplomats. Russian Deputy Foreign Ministers Mikhail Bogdanov and Gennady Gatilov were also scheduled to hold talks with representatives of the Syrian opposition, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported.

The meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, is part of the preparations for the international conference. Russia has generally supported Syrian President Bashar Assad.

"We would like the Syrian opposition to be represented adequately" at the conference, said Bogdanov.

The two Russian officials returned to Geneva Tuesday for another round of talks with senior U.S. representatives on convening an international conference on Syria, the New York Times reported.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, began the talks in May.

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