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'Syria peace meeting will not happen in June'

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Syria peace meeting will not happen in June
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Geneva: A conference on ending the fighting in Syria will not happen in June, as planned, because both sides in the conflict are unprepared to attend, the UN's international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said.

Speaking in Geneva on Wednesday, where the international peace meeting on Syria was due to take place this month, Brahimi said: "The Syrian sides are not ready ... the opposition has a lot of work to get ready for this conference."

The US and Russia had spearheaded the meeting, with Washington taking the lead on bringing the opposition to the table, and Moscow working on getting the government of President Bashar al-Assad to attend.

"There is still a lot of work to do to bring a conference about. For this reason, we have come to the conclusion today that it will not be possible to hold this conference in June," said Brahimi.

The meeting might be held in July, he said, after preparatory talks with US and Russian officials.

He will chair a second round of preparatory talks on June 25.

"I think it is embarrassing for us that we are not capable of holding this conference already," Brahimi said. "The opposition has to complete a lot of work to get ready for this conference. I think that they are doing that. And until the opposition is ready, all we can do is wait. Of course I encourage them, push them, help them get there, but obviously the conference can’t take place without them."

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