Brahimi meets Syria's Assad, warns of world threat
[Al Ahram] International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi warned after meeting Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir
Before going into the family business Pencilneck was an eye doctor...
on Saturday that the worsening conflict in Syria poses a threat to the region and the world on the lam.
"The crisis is dangerous and getting worse, and it is a threat to the Syrian people, the region and the world," said the newly-appointed Brahimi, who took over as envoy earlier this month from former UN chief Kofi Annan
...Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh and so far the worst Secretary-General of the UN. Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for something or other that probably sounded good at the time. In December 2004, reports surfaced that Kofi's son Kojo received payments from the Swiss company Cotecna, which had won a lucrative contract under the UN Oil-for-Food Program. Kofi Annan called for an investigation to look into the allegations, which stirred up the expected cesspool but couldn't seem to come up with enough evidence to indict Kofi himself, or even Kojo...
Assad, quoted by state television
... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?
, said that dialogue between Syrians held the key to a solution and called for foreign countries to stop supplying arms to his foes.
"The real problem in Syria is that of combining politics with the work being done on the ground," he said. "The political work continues, in particular by calling for dialogue between Syrians based on the aspirations of all Syrians.
"The success of political action is dependent on putting pressure on the countries that finance and train the terrorists, and which bring weapons into Syria, until they stop doing so," he said.
Eighteen months into Syria's deadly conflict and without an end in sight, Assad said his government would "cooperate with all sincere efforts to solve the crisis, so long as the efforts are neutral and independent."
Brahimi, a 78-year-old veteran Algerian troubleshooter, has also met with Foreign Minister Walid Muallem and members of the officially tolerated opposition since he arrived in the Syrian capital on Thursday.
The envoy called for a united effort. "There is need for all parties to unite their efforts to find a solution for the crisis, given Syria's strategic importance... and the crisis's influence over the whole region," he said.
"The solution can only come from the Syrian people," stressed Brahimi, who was to hold talks later on Saturday with Arab ambassadors and a European Union
...the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, only without the Hapsburgs and the nifty uniforms and the dancing...
Brahimi already warned on arrival that the conflict is "getting worse," as underlined by the daily bloodshed.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which gathers information from a network of activists on the ground, said 132 people were killed in violence on Friday, including 100 civilians, 18 of whom died in the capital.
Brahimi held talks on Friday with Syrian opposition figures who said he was bringing "new ideas" to the peace effort, as blasts rocked Damascus
City of Jasmin is the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the world. It has not always been inhabited by the same set of fascisti...
and regime air strikes targeted rebel areas in the northern city of Aleppo
...For centuries, Aleppo was Greater Syria's largest city and the Ottoman Empire's third, after Constantinople and Cairo. Although relatively close to Damascus in distance, Aleppans regard Damascenes as country cousins...
He met with opposition groups tolerated by Assad's regime such as the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change, which groups Arab nationalists, Kurds and socialists.
The group said it was sending a delegation on Saturday to China, a key Damascus ally, to urge Beijing to "put pressure on the regime to stop the violence, free detainees and allow peaceful protests."
Brahimi is on his first Damascus visit since his appointment to replace Annan who quit the post after a hard-sought peace deal he brokered became a dead letter.
Posted by: Fred