Topic: Protests in Syria
BEIRUT, October 18 (RIA Novosti)
United Nations and Arab League special envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi is to visit Damascus on Saturday in a bid to forge a truce agreement in the country during the Eid festival period, a Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Thursday.
“On Saturday morning Brahimi will meet Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem,” Jihad Makdisi said.
During a visit to Tehran on Monday, Brahimi appealed to the Syrian government and opposition for a ceasefire during the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday that starts on October 26. He had already discussed the proposal in the preceding few days with the governments of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iraq, Egypt and Lebanon.
After talks in Beirut on Wednesday evening, Brahimi warned the Syrian crisis was likely to spread.
“This crisis cannot remain within Syria's borders indefinitely. Either it will be addressed, or it will increase ... and could be all-consuming,” he said at a news conference.
A truce during Eid al-Adha could be the first step towards “a more global ceasefire, the withdrawal of heavy artillery, a stop to the flow of foreign weapons, and then towards a political solution in Syria,” he said.
The Turkish newspaper Milliyet reported on Thursday that the Syrian opposition had agreed on a ceasefire during the forthcoming Eid al-Adha holiday.
Previous attempts to arrange ceasefires between the two sides in the conflict have failed.
The Syrian conflict has claimed tens of thousand of lives, according to various Syrian opposition groups. The UN puts the death toll at 20,000-30,000 people.
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