(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The US voiced Tuesday its deep appreciation for the efforts of UN and Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, saying it is "grateful for his leadership and counsel.
"The United States deeply appreciates Joint Special Representative Brahimi's tireless efforts to work towards a lasting peace in Syria and is grateful for his leadership and his counsel," White House Spokesman Jay Carney told reporters, adding "we look forward to the appointment of his successor." State Department Spokesperson Jennifer Psaki also reacted to Brahimi's resignation in her briefing, telling reporters that Brahimi "played an incredibly important role during a challenging time in the ongoing situation on the ground in Syria." She added "we certainly support and will work with whomever the UN decides to put in place in his place."
Meanwhile, Carney confirmed that the Geneva talks are "certainly on hold," and that resuming the talks and starting a third round of negotiations "is dependent upon the Assad regime agreeing to discuss, among other issues, a transitional governing body with full executive powers, as cited in the Geneva communique." He stressed "the regime refused to do so in the first two rounds of the talks. That has to be the first item on the agenda," but that the regime "also needs to postpone its upcoming presidential elections, which, as I noted earlier, represent a sham, democratically, and are entirely inconsistent with the Geneva communique's call for the establishment of a transitional governing body." He reiterated that the Assad regime "alone is responsible for the talks' lack of progress thus far. Its refusal to engage seriously in negotiations based on the Geneva communique has stalled progress, whereas the Syrian Opposition Coalition accepted the Geneva communique as the basis for negotiations and conducted itself in accordance with the communique's provisions during those talks." Furthermore, Carney noted "there is no question that this conflict has gone on far too long and has cost far too many lives.
The responsibility for that is unquestionably with Syrian President Assad and his regime that has engaged in a conflict against its own people with horrific brutality." He affirmed "we will continue to work with our partners in the opposition, continue to provide assistance, step up that assistance where we can and it's appropriate.
"In the end, the course of this conflict on the battlefield will inevitably result in no permanent outcome, will not result in Assad ever controlling Syria as it used to exist and in the manner that he used to control it. There is no alternative, ultimately, when it comes to resolving this conflict, to a negotiated political settlement. And that's what we're going to continue to press for," he stressed.