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UN Syria envoy to attend G20 to push peace talks

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The UN-Arab League envoy on Syria Lakhdar Brahimi will attend the G20 summit in Russia to help Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's efforts to hasten a peace conference aimed at ending the conflict, the UN said Thursday.

"The Secretary General has just announced that the Joint Special Representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, is on his way to Russia to help him push, on margins of the G20 summit in Saint Petersburg, for the International Conference on Syria," the UN spokesperson said in a statement.

Brahimi will be seeking to encourage world powers to revive efforts to hold a peace conference in Geneva aimed at bringing the warring parties together at the negotiating table.

The conference was first proposed by the United States and Russia in May but momentum towards holding the event was lost as Washington and Moscow bickered over the conflict.

"While the world is focused on concerns about the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria we must push even harder for the International Conference on Syria to take place in Geneva," Ban was quoted as saying in the statement.

"A political solution is the only way to end the bloodshed in Syria," Ban added.

US President Barack Obama is pushing for military action over an alleged chemical weapons attack by the regime, a move vehemently opposed by President Vladimir Putin.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed Brahimi would be present at the G20 and would be meeting foreign ministers on Friday.

"Brahimi will take part in the G20 summit, he is a member of Ban Ki-moon's delegation," Lavrov said, quoted by the Interfax news agency.

"Tomorrow I am going to have a working breakfast with the G20 foreign ministers and Brahimi is invited too," he added.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130905/un-syria-envoy-attend-g20-push-peace-talks