Brahimi - Syria ceasefire a small step

2012-10-24 18:45
UN peace envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi. (File, AFP)

UN peace envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York - UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi told the UN Security Council Wednesday that a ceasefire in Syria would be a "small step" toward reaching a settlement but he was uncertain whether it would hold, according to diplomats who attended a closed-door meeting.

Brahimi also appealed for unanimous support for his ceasefire efforts, warning the 15-nation council that a new failure among its divided members would cause the 19-month old civil war to spread, the diplomats told AFP.

The former Algerian foreign minister spoke to the Security Council by video from Cairo hours after announcing that Syria has agreed to his plan for a ceasefire during a Muslim holiday this week.

President Bashar Assad's government has tempered optimism by saying it will announce its position by Thursday. The opposition Free Syrian Army has said it will halt hostilities if the government does, but is not optimistic.

Referring to his ceasefire proposal to Assad, Brahimi was quoted as telling the council "I hope a small step can lead to more."

Diplomats inside the meeting said the envoy stressed the lack of trust between the two sides and that he "cannot be certain that a truce will be effective."

Brahimi said he wanted the ceasefire to "help create political space for discussion and let humanitarian assistance flow in."

The envoy said it was essential to get aid to to the stricken Syrian cities of Aleppo, Homs and Idlib.

The Security Council was working on a statement in support of a ceasefire for the four-day Eid al-Adha holiday starting Friday. Diplomats said the statement could be released at the end of the meeting.

Russia, China support Assad

The council remains critically split, however, on international action over the war. Russia, Assad's last main ally, and China have blocked three council resolutions proposed by Western nations which could have led to sanctions against Assad.

Brahimi told the council it was essential that he receive "unambiguous" support for his ceasefire efforts.

"Another failure would lead to the worsening of the conflict and extension to other countries," he told envoys.

Western envoys have all expressed support for a ceasefire initiative.

"We hope the Security Council can send out a strong signal and can rally behind Brahimi," said Germany's UN envoy, Peter Wittig.

Western ambassadors have raised some doubts though that the government will implement an end to the fighting that has raged since Brahimi's talks with Assad.

China's UN ambassador Li Baodong said it was "very important that all parties understand the importance of peace and security in the region. Even if there is a one per cent chance I think we should make a 100% effort."

Russia's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin also gave strong backing to the ceasefire call though he acknowledged Brahimi faced a difficult task having to deal with "too many players and too many spoilers."

Read more on:    un security council  |  bashar assad  |  lakhdar brahimi  |  syria  |  syria conflict

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Hottie of the day: Charlotte

Meet our hottie of the day, Charlotte. She feels sexiest after a good workout at the gym!

This is why guys shouldn’t be in photos
BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike
Want to start talking dirty?
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

Good Morning, Mr Mandela by Zelda la Grange

Good Morning, Mr Mandela tells the extraordinary story of how a young woman had her life, beliefs, prejudices and everything she once believed in utterly transformed by the greatest man of her time. Now R221. Pre-order now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


You have the ability to lead and take up campaigns that can sway the crowd and make things happen. There can be a more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.