Middle East

Syria envoy Brahimi due to hold talks with Assad, U.N. chief says

Syrian government forces take position in a residential neighbourhood in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on September 8, 2012. UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi admitted on September 10 he faced a "very difficult" task in his bid to end the nearly 18-month conflict which the Syrian government's traditional ally Moscow called for a peace conference involving all parties to the conflict, warning of the risks of a complete collapse of central authority as happened in Somalia in the early 1990s. AFP PHO

BERNE: International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi is due to meet Syrian President Bashar Assad during his upcoming visit to Syria, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday.

The U.N. chief reiterated his call for the Security Council to take action on Syria and for world powers to use their influence over the two warring sides to halt the 17 months of violence in which more than 20,000 have been killed.

"Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi is going soon to have meetings with Syrian authorities, including President Assad," Ban told a news conference in the Swiss capital Berne. Brahimi said on Monday he would make his first visit to Damascus since taking the post in a few days.





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