UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said his meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Thursday in Dublin, Ireland, did not result in any « sensational » decisions to end the civil war in Syria.
However, Brahimi vowed that they will keep trying with « creative » ways to reach a viable settlement to the crisis that has been ongoing for some 20 months.
« We haven’t taken any sensational decisions, but I think we have agreed that the situation is bad, and we have agreed that we must continue to work together to see how we can find creative ways of bringing this problem under control and hopefully starting to solve it, » Brahimi told reporters, following a meeting in Dublin on the sidelines of the Conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Brahimi said he invited his American and Russian interlocutors to discuss the situation in Syria, which he described as « very, very, very bad. » They all concurred on the « urgent need to initiate a political process based on the Geneva Communique of June 30, 2012 adopted by the Contact Group for Syria with a view of addressing effectively the crisis.
The Communique called for a transitional administration in Syria, but did not indicate whether President Bashar Al-Assad would have any role in it.
While Western countries and the Syrian opposition want Assad to step down before any talks begin, Russia says Assad must be part of any peace equation.
Diplomats speculated that any future serious talks, based on this ambiguity in the Communique, will fail. Brahimi said he and his guests « also talked a little bit about how we can work out, hopefully, a process that will get Syria back from the brink, to put together a peace process…, » and vowed they will continue to discuss this with other countries that were present in Geneva and all the countries that have interest in and influence on Syria.
The Geneva Communique was brokered by Brahimi’s predecessor Kofi Annan who resigned last August out of frustration with the Security Council which remained divided on the issue because of Russia and China which vetoed three Syria-related draft resolutions in the past.