U.N. Syria envoy in Iraq
Lakhdar Brahimi, UN envoy for Syria arrived in Baghdad on Monday to hold talks with Iraqi leaders aimed at garnering support for Syria peace talks in Geneva next month.
The conference, dubbed as “Geneva II”, is a UN backed peace conference aimed at finding a political settlement to the Syrian civil war. The conference is set to take place in Geneva towards the end of the year. The five permanent members of the UN Council, China, Russia, France, Britain and the U.S will be in attendance. In addition, Brahimi is urging other major regional players to attend the conference as well.
Brahimi said that the main obstacle to hosting a successful conference is getting all different parties to embrace the “very principle of a political solution.” He stressed that there was no military solution to the conflict. His statement is largely in alignment with the views of powers like the U.S. and Russia who came up with a non-military solution to rid Syria of chemical weapons earlier this year.
AFP quoted Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari as saying that “everyone is now convinced that (a) political and peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis is the available option” for “the interest of the Syrian people.”
The main National Coalition opposition bloc is yet to decide whether to partake in the proposed conference. The Syrian National Council has declared it would leave the conference if that were to happen.
Iraq has eschewed from publicly taking sides in the Syria. However, the country will seek to play a more active role as the conflict has spilled over its borders on several occasions. In the past, Iraq has reaffirmed its commitment to prevent the transit of weapons through its territory.