Lakhdar Brahimi (left) is due to meet with President Bashar al-Assad "very, very soon"
International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi (left) and Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh are seen in Amman on October 18. Brahimi arrived on Friday in Damascus as he bids to secure a ceasefire in Syria's 19-month conflict, an AFP journalist said. He is set to meet President Bashar al-Assad "very, very soon" a spokesman said. © Str - AFP/File
Lakhdar Brahimi (left) is due to meet with President Bashar al-Assad
AFP
Last updated: October 19, 2012

Peace envoy Brahimi arrives in Damascus

UN and Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi arrived on Friday in Damascus as he bids to secure a ceasefire in Syria's 19-month conflict, an AFP journalist said.

"We will have discussions here with the government, the political parties and civil society about the situation in Syria," Brahimi told journalists at Damascus airport.

"We will talk about the need to reduce the current violence and about whether it is possible to stop for the occasion of Eid al-Adha," he said about next week's major Muslim holiday.

The four-day Eid al-Adha, which caps the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, begins across the Muslim world on October 26.

Brahimi was received at Damascus airport by Syria's deputy foreign minister, Faisal Muqdad, and was scheduled to meet Foreign Minister Walid Muallem on Saturday.

Brahimi will meet President Bashar al-Assad "very, very soon," spokesman Ahmad Fawzi told AFP on Thursday.

The envoy arrived in Syria following a regional tour to countries that play influential roles in the crisis -- Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan.

On Thursday the envoy stressed that a temporary ceasefire in Syria could form the basis for a real truce in the war-torn country, where more than 34,000 people have been killed since March last year.

"If the ceasefire is implemented, we can build on it and make it a real truce as well as the start of a political process that would help the Syrians solve their problems and rebuild their country," Brahimi said in Amman.

But he also warned: "If the Syrian crisis continues, it will not remain inside Syria. It will affect the entire region."

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