UN Peace Envoy to Meet With Assad

Posted September 14th, 2012 at 1:10 am (UTC-5)
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The new U.N.- Arab League envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi plans to meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus Friday as he continues his first official visit to the war torn country.

On Thursday, Brahimi said the crisis is getting worse and described efforts to help arrange a cease-fire and start talks on a transitional government “nearly impossible.”

Brahimi, who met with Syrian Foreign Minister Waleed Mualem on Thursday, also plans to hold talks with members of the Syrian opposition who are fighting to overthrow Mr. Assad.

The U.N. Security Council is deadlocked over Syria. Russia and China have vetoed efforts to impose tough new sanctions against the Assad government. The United States does not want any military involvement in Syria, and there has been almost no progress in uniting the fragmented opposition to form a viable alternative to Mr. Assad.

But British Foreign Secretary William Hague said in Baghdad Thursday that the Assad government is “doomed.” He said it should not be allowed to survive because of what he calls the many crimes committed against the Syrian people.

Eighteen months of fighting between government forces and rebels has killed about 20,000 people, mostly civilians. U.N. officials say the war has driven more than 1 million people from their homes.