Annan “optimistic” about Syria talks in Geneva

GENEVA - International mediator Kofi Annan said on Friday he was “optimistic” that ministerial crisis talks on Syria’s conflict being held on Saturday would produce an acceptable outcome.

By Stephanie Nebehay (Reuters)

Published: Fri 29 Jun 2012, 6:33 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 2:43 PM

But senior envoys who had gathered in Geneva were huddled in private meetings on Friday trying to come up with ways to break the deadlock on Syria’s political transition after Russia proposed changes to Annan’s plan, diplomats said.

“I think we are going to have a good meeting tomorrow (Saturday). I am optimistic,” Annan told Reuters Television in Geneva as he arrived for preparatory discussions.

The talks being held in the Swiss city by foreign ministers of major powers and regional players will end “with an acceptable result”, he said, without giving details.

Annan’s spokesman Ahmad Fawzi told Reuters: “The talks are on course.” After a delay, a preparatory meeting of senior officials began at 0945 GMT.

Russia proposed changes on Thursday to Annan’s plan for a national unity government in Syria, despite initially supporting it, but the United States, Britain and France rejected the amendments, Western diplomats said.

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