Brahimi: Syria vote would jeopardize peace talks

Photo: Brahimi: Syria vote would jeopardize peace talks / Arab World

The international mediator on Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, told the U.N. Security Council on Thursday that the re-election of President Bashar al-Assad would complicate mediation efforts, Alarabiya reported.

He added that holding a presidential election would jeopardize efforts to negotiate an end to the three-year civil war.

"If there is an election, my suspicion is the opposition, all the oppositions will probably not be interested in talking to the government," said Brahimi.

Brahimi broke off the Geneva II peace talks earlier in February to give the government and opposition an opportunity to take stock. A date for the next round of negotiations was not set.

He told the 15-member Council on Thursday that he doubted a new seven-year term for Assad would end the suffering of the Syrian people, diplomats told Agence France-Presse.

Brahimi's announcement comes after the Syrian parliament unanimously approved a new election law Thursday.

The new law allows multiple candidates to run for president, opening the door - at least in theory - to other potential contenders besides Assad, according to the Associated Press.

Syrian officials said the presidential elections will be held on time and Assad has suggested he would run again, though he hasn't confirmed whether he'll seek re-election.

The poll must be held between 60 and 90 days before Assad's term ends on July 17.

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