Middle East

Syria envoy Brahimi meets Saudi king over conflict

Lakhdar Brahimi (C), U.N.-Arab League Special Envoy for Syria and former Algerian minister of foreign affairs, leaves after attending the funeral ceremony of former Algerian President Chadli Bendjedid at the presidential place in Algiers October 7, 2012. REUTERS/Louafi Larbi

JEDDAH: Saudi King Abdullah held talks Friday with international peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi on ways to end the bloodletting in Syria, the official SPA news agency reported.

The talks held in the Red Sea city of Jeddah centred on "how to stop all the violence, bloodshed... and violations of human rights," in Syria, the agency said.

The Syrian regime accuses Saudi Arabia, along with Turkey and Qatar, of arming the rebels fighting the forces of President Bashar al-Assad since the uprising against him erupted in March last year.

On Thursday, Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Prince Abdel Aziz bin Abdullah urged Brahimi to work for "an immediate halt to the bloodshed of the Syrian people" also at a meeting in Jeddah, the SPA said.

Brahimi arrived Wednesday in Saudi Arabia on his second regional tour to find a solution to the conflict in Syria after Damascus rejected a UN call to implement a unilateral cease-fire.

The envoy first visited the Middle East in mid-September and travelled to Damascus where he met Assad -- but earned no promises of concessions from him.

In an interview with AFP on Tuesday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Brahimi would soon return to Damascus to try again to meet with Assad.

Ban suggested Brahimi could go to the Syrian capital next week if his meetings in the region this week were productive.





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