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UN-AL envoy Brahimi sets foot in Syria for talks with top officials

English.news.cn   2012-10-19 18:38:46            
 • Lakhdar Brahimi set foot Friday in the Syrian capital Damascus to meet with top Syrian officials.
 • Brahimi said he will talk with the Syrian parties about the necessity of reducing violence.
 • He said a ceasefire would "help create an environment that would allow a political process to develop."


UN-Arab League Special Joint Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi speaks to reporters in Damascus, Syria, Oct. 19, 2012. Brahimi set foot Friday in the Syrian capital Damascus to meet with top Syrian officials over the results of his regional tour aimed to garner support for his upcoming plan to solve the 19-month-old crisis. (Xinhua/Hazim)

DAMASCUS, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- UN-Arab League Special Joint Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi set foot Friday in the Syrian capital Damascus to meet with top Syrian officials over the results of his regional tour aimed to garner support for his upcoming plan to solve the 19-month-old crisis.

Upon his arrival, Brahimi said he will talk with the Syrian parties about the situation and the necessity of reducing violence especially during the upcoming Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha.

Brahimi was received by Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad at the International Airport of Damascus, from which he headed to the heavily-fortified Dama-Rose hotel in central Damascus.

The Algerian diplomat is set to meet with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem Saturday morning, but it is not clear when he will meet Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during his four- day stay in Syria.

Ahead of the visit media reports have revealed the topics and proposals Brahimi would probably raise with the Syrian leadership, though no confirmation has been made by him, who is still tight- lipped about the essence of his endeavor.

Brahimi has been shuttling between countries in the region, trying to delineate a full vision before putting forth any proposal to end the violence that has been picking up in the last weeks.

During a visit to Tehran Sunday, Brahimi appealed to Iranian leaders to help arrange a ceasefire in Syria during Eid al-Adha, which begins on Oct. 26.

The Syrian government announced earlier that it is interested in exploring a ceasefire in the 19-month conflict as proposed by Brahimi, but stipulated the commitment of the other party of the conflict. Head of the broad-based opposition group Syrian National Council, Abdelbaset Sieda, also welcomed the truce.

Brahimi said a ceasefire would "help create an environment that would allow a political process to develop," according to his spokesman Ahmad Fawzi.

The calls for a ceasefire have come in tandem with an appeal by the United Nations to halt the flow of weapons to both sides in the country's bloody conflict.

During his visit to Iraq, Brahimi also called on the Iraqi government to use its influence, while Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki called for a speedy "political solution."

Brahimi said in Lebanon that the Syrian crisis should be solved, otherwise it would spill over to regional countries.

The joint envoy also stressed that all influential countries must work to stop the bloodshed in Syria by halting arms shipments so the conflict does not spread.

Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have emerged as main backers of the armed opposition fighters in Syria, amid reports that they have been funneling weapons and funds to the rebels in Syria. " Those countries need to realize, as we heard today in Lebanon, that it is not possible that this crisis will stay inside Syrian border forever," Brahimi said, "Either it has to be taken care of or it will spread and spill over and consume everything."

The Syrian Foreign Ministry's Spokesman Jihad Makdissi said Tuesday that Syria is waiting for the arrival of Brahimi to listen to the outcome of his tour to a number of countries, including those that have overt influence on the armed groups.

Editor: Wang Yuanyuan
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