Syrian Government, Opposition Hold Direct Talks - The New Indian Express

Syrian Government, Opposition Hold Direct Talks

Published: 25th January 2014 05:42 PM

Last Updated: 25th January 2014 05:42 PM

The Syrian government and the country's opposition held direct talks Saturday for the first time since the civil war began three years ago, the UN said.

According to sources from the UN Information Service of Geneva, the two warring sides "are now meeting together with the joint special representative at the UN office at Geneva", Xinhua reported.

Lakhdar Brahimi is the joint special representative of the UN and the Arab League to Syria.

It is the first time in three years that the two sides are having a direct dialogue despite a rocky start to the Geneva II conference which began Wednesday in the lakeside Swiss city of Montreux.

"We came for that," said Bashar Ja'afari, permanent representative of Syria to the UN.

"We came with a positive spirit and an open mind to discuss everything with the other delegation. This is why we are here."

He noted that the core issues might not be discussed on the first day of direct talks.

"Today is about format," he said.

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