October 23, 2013 - 16:50 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The UN Special Representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, will meet U.S. and Russian officials in Switzerland next month to try to prepare the way for a full Syria peace conference in Geneva, a senior U.S. official said on Wednesday, according to Reuters.
The trilateral meeting will be held in Geneva on Nov 5 with the U.S. delegation expected to include Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman and U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford, the State Department official told reporters accompanying Secretary of State John Kerry on a visit to Rome.
"We look forward to continuing this trilateral dialogue and reviewing progress towards convening the Geneva Conference on Syria," the official said.
Meanwhile, according to the Associated Press, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said moderate opposition leaders seeking to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad from power have not yet committed to negotiations to create a new government. Kerry said he remains optimistic that the coalition would agree, potentially as soon as next week, to participate in talks tentatively set for late November in Geneva with members of Assad’s government.
But he said the Western-backed Syrian opposition members have “to make up their own mind.”
“None of us are going to pre-judge or pre-condition what they will choose to do in that process,” Kerry said after the meetings of the diplomats from 11 Western and Mideast nations who are trying to broker a Syrian settlement.
Assad has shown no sign he is ready to give up power, and declined in an interview this week to rule out running for re-election next year. He also questioned the legitimacy of the opposition and said the factors needed for a proposed peace conference to succeed do not yet exist.