UN rights chief says battle for Aleppo might derail Syria talks

  • World
  • Thursday, 13 Jun 2013

GENEVA (Reuters) - U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said on Thursday she feared that bloodshed in recent battles for the Syrian town of Qusair would be repeated in the city of Aleppo and undermine peace efforts.

Pillay's office said earlier that it had documented at least 93,000 deaths in Syria by the end of April.

"I am concerned that what happened in Qusair will happen in Aleppo. All the reports I'm receiving are of augmentation of resources and forces on the part of the government," Pillay told Reuters television. "It's hardly a scenario and a proper stage for negotiations at this stage.

"Would you begin negotiations with people who are intent on emerging as victors out of violent struggle?" she asked.

International envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi will meet U.S. and Russian officials on June 25 to discuss plans for peace talks which Brahimi has said he hopes to hold in Geneva in July.

"Brahimi is ready," Pillay said. "It needs the resolve of political actors to get to that table."

(Editing by Alistair Lyon)

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