UN envoy Brahimi in Turkey for Syria talks
U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi arrived in Ankara Oct. 24 to hold talks with Turkish officials and the Syrian opposition over the planned Geneva peace talks, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
Brahimi confirmed he will meet with the Syrian opposition but gave no further details. Efforts to persuade the Syrian regime and the opposition to take part have intensified, with Brahimi making the rounds of the region. Brahimi visited Egypt on Oct. 20, where he met Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi, and Iraq on Oct. 21. He met with Jordanian officials on Oct. 23. He had said his tour will also take him to Iran, Qatar and Syria.
Syria's opposition National Coalition is to meet on Nov. 9 to decide on the divisive issue of whether to take part in peace talks in Geneva, a Coalition member said Oct. 24.
"We have decided to put off the (Coalition's) General Assembly and political committee meetings until Nov. 9 in Istanbul," Samir Nashar told Agence France-Presse.
The Istanbul meetings were originally scheduled for Oct. 22, but were postponed because of a "Friends of Syria" meeting in London. "There is an international effort, notably American, to persuade the Coalition to take part in the Geneva peace conference," Nashar said.
"Putting off a decision until Nov. 9 aims to allow more time for discussions and to assist efforts to change the minds of those opposed to taking part," he said.