New York, United Nations, 18 Rabiul Awwal 1434/30 January 2013 (MINA) – British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant on Tuesday expressed hope that the UN Security Council members will unite over a solution to end the bloodshed in Syria, according to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reports monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Wednesday.

      “We don’t yet know what Mr. Brahimi will say, but we will listen very carefully to him, and I do hope that the Security Council can be more united than it has been over the last two years on this topic,” Grant told reporters on his way to the Council chamber to listen to a closed-door briefing by Joint Special Envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi on his mediation efforts to end the Syria conflict.

      “It is horrendous that the brutality of the regime goes on. The number of deaths is increasing the whole time and the Council is still not able to put its full weight behind his (Brahimi’s) efforts, and I hope they will be able to do that,” he added.

       The Council “needs to recognize what needs to be done to put an end to the bloodshed and start a legitimate political transition that has some chance of meeting the aspirations of the Syrian people. And that’s certainly what we have been arguing all along and we will continue to argue,” he vowed.
       In the meantime, Russia has invited the Council’s permanent members – US, UK, France and China – for a working dinner later in the day to further discuss the topic.

       Diplomats speculated that one would hope some solution to the conflict would come out of the dinner if it took place before the Council’s closed briefing, arguing that meeting after the Council’s meeting is pointless.

      The last time Brahimi briefed the Council was on November 29 when he urged Council members to adopt a resolution in support of the June 30 Geneva Communique of the Action Group for Syria and consider it as a basis for a political transition.

       Diplomats said, however, that the communique is no longer valid.

 First because the role of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in the transitional period is not clear – While the Western members believe he does not have any role, Russia and China believe he does.

       Second Assad dismissed the UN role in his televised address earlier this month.

       Third it has been overtaken by developments on the ground. Among Brahimi’s mediation efforts so far were a meeting with Assad last month in Damascus and trilateral meetings with US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and his Russian counterpart Mikhail Bogdanov. All meetings failed.

      Brahimi is scheduled to brief the General Assembly tomorrow Wednesday in an open meeting. (T/P011/E1)


Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

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