International Peace Envoy Brahimi in Damascus

Posted October 20th, 2012 at 6:00 am (UTC-5)
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International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi met with Syria's foreign minister Saturday in Damascus to discuss the possibility of securing a temporary cease-fire in the conflict between Syrian forces and rebel groups.

No details of the meeting with Foreign Minister Walid Muallem have been released.

The U.N.-Arab League envoy is also scheduled to meet with President Bashar al-Assad and opposition leaders during his visit to Syria.

Brahimi is pushing for Syrian officials to support a cease-fire during the four-day Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha that begins October 26. The secretaries-general of the U.N. and the Arab League issued a statement Friday calling for a cessation of violence during the religious period.

Brahimi told reporters Thursday after meeting Jordan's foreign minister that a respite in 19 months of hostilities could build confidence and help bring about a longer truce in the conflict.

Turkey's foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, has also appealed to Syrian forces and rebel groups to observe a cease-fire.

A previous cease-fire in April collapsed after just a few days, with each side blaming the other. Then-mediator Kofi Annan later resigned from his post.