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UN mediator in Syria peace talks 'encouraged' so far

UN mediator in Syria peace talks 'encouraged' so far
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The UN mediator for the Syrian peace talks Lakhdar Brahimi is encouraged by the discussions he has had so far with the Syrian government and the opposition.

Both parties have agreed to meet for talks “in the same room” on Saturday. They accept that their talks will be based on the 2012 “Geneva 1” communique which called for a transitional governing body to be set up.

Speaking on Friday evening at a news conference in Geneva, Brahimi said: “We never expected to be easy and that is sure it is not going to be. But I think that the two parties understand what is at stake.

“The huge ambition of this process is to save Syria, no less than that. So I hope that all free parties, the government, the opposition and the United Nations will be up to the task,” added Brahimi.

All sides know the process of ending the conflict will be a difficult one. The parties are set to meet on Saturday morning for their first face-to-face meeting in three years of fighting.