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Mediator Brahimi urges Syria talks at UN

Feb. 17, 2013 11:38 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 17, 2013 11:38 A.M.)
CAIRO (Reuters) -- International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi called on Sunday for talks between the Syrian opposition and an "acceptable delegation" from the Damascus government on a political solution to the country's 23-month-old civil war.

After talks at Arab League headquarters, Brahimi said negotiations could begin on United Nations premises. He gave no specific location.

The peace initiative announced last week by Moaz Alkhatib, leader of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, "has opened the door, and the Syrian government has said in truth that it confirms what it has been continuously saying, that it is ready for dialogue and for a peaceful solution.

"We believe that if a dialogue begins at the offices of the United Nations, at least at the start, between the opposition and an acceptable delegation from the Syrian government, we think this will be a start to get out of the dark tunnel."

It was unclear whether he had received any new confirmation of Syria's willingness to enter into talks with Alkhatib and the SNC.
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