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UN envoy heads to Egypt to prepare Syria talks

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The UN special envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, will on Saturday visit Egypt as he kicks off a regional tour to prepare for peace talks on Syria dubbed Geneva 2, his spokesman said.

Brahimi will meet Egypt's foreign minister Nabil Fahmy as well as the Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi, spokesman Khawla Mattar said in Geneva on Friday.

The rest of his schedule is uncertain due to various governments being on holiday because of the main Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, but Mattar said "the tour will cover several countries of the region".

This will include visits to Damascus and Tehran.

The international community has for months been pushing Syria's rebels and the regime to participate in talks on a negotiated solution to the conflict, which has killed an estimated 115,000 people since March 2011.

Syria's Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil said proposed peace talks in Geneva could take place on November 23-24.

However Mattar said the date for the long awaited peace conference will be announced by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon "in due time".

She said the meeting was likely to place in the "second half of November".

Prospects for the Geneva 2 conference remain unclear, with the Syrian opposition divided and due to vote next week on whether to take part.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131018/un-envoy-heads-egypt-prepare-syria-talks