UN envoy urges Syria truce for Eid

2012-10-16 09:01
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

Damascus - International envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has called for a ceasefire in Syria during the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, as the revolt enters its 20th month with a death toll of more than 33 000.

Brahimi made his call on Monday as he shuttled between Syria's neighbours, which have been bitterly divided by the conflict along the confessional lines that have traditionally riven the Islamic world.

He was in Shi'ite-majority Iraq after talks in Shi'ite-ruled Iran, closest ally of the minority Alawite-dominated regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Last week, Brahimi visited Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the two Sunni-led states which have been the greatest champions of the Syrian opposition.

"Brahimi has appealed to the Iranian authorities to assist in achieving a ceasefire in Syria during the forthcoming Eid al-Adha, one of the holiest holidays celebrated by the Muslims around the world," a statement from the envoy said.

Eid al-Adha, which falls at the end of October, marks the climax of the annual hajj pilgrimage.

Political transition


"He reiterated the call by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for a ceasefire and a halt to the flow of arms to both sides. A ceasefire, he said, would help create an environment that would allow a political process to develop."

But Brahimi denied a claim by Ahmed Ramadan, an official from the main opposition Syrian National Council, that he sought a peacekeeping force.

"You've read that I have asked for peacekeeping," he told reporters in Baghdad. "I haven't."

Iran proposed to Brahimi a political transition supervised by Assad, Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdolahian said, an idea unlikely to be acceptable to the opposition.

Turkey said on Sunday it had banned Syrian civilian aircraft from its airspace, mirroring a similar move by Damascus, as tensions soared after Ankara confiscated a cargo of radar equipment from a Syrian flight from Moscow last week.

On Monday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated that the cargo contained "war equipment".

Increasing tension


"There is no point in diverting and saying it is radar equipment. Radar equipment functions as war equipment anyway," he said.

The matching flight bans came amid increasing tensions on the long Syria-Turkey border, large swathes of which have been seized by rebels.

On 3 October, five Turkish civilians were killed by cross-border fire against the rebels that Syria charges are receiving arms from Gulf Arab states through Turkey.

The United States on Monday called on all Syria's neighbours to keep a careful watch over their airspace.

"Certainly we support the decision that Turkey has made in light of the apparent violation of their airspace by this aircraft," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters.

"We are encouraging all of Syria's neighbours to be vigilant with regard to how their airspace is used, particularly now that we have this concrete example."

Russian kidnapped

Meanwhile the European Union imposed a new package of unilateral sanctions on Damascus on Monday, its 19th since the conflict erupted in March 2011.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov of Russia, a traditional ally of Syria, visited Luxembourg on Sunday for talks with his EU counterparts, but British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Monday: "I can't say that we made any progress."

Russia and China have repeatedly blocked action at the UN Security Council against the Assad regime.

Ukraine said on Monday that one of its journalists working for a Russian television crew has been kidnapped.

The foreign ministry said Ankhar Kochneva, who had reportedly expressed support for Assad's regime, told her employers she was kidnapped on 9 October and was being held by the rebel Free Syrian Army.

Inside Syria, at least 16 soldiers were killed around two checkpoints near the commercial capital of Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Damage

Near one checkpoint, troops killed the driver of a vehicle carrying three tonnes of explosives that he intended to detonate, a security source said.

Aleppo has seen intense conflict for the past three months, including in the city's Unesco-listed historic heart, with damage to both the ancient covered market, or souk, and the landmark 13th century Umayyad Mosque.

A day after troops recaptured the complex from rebels, spent cartridges and broken glass still littered the ground, an AFP correspondent reported.

At least 130 people were killed nationwide on Monday, including three children who died in army shelling of the town of Albu Kamal on the Iraqi border, the Observatory said.

It said 78 of those killed were civilians.

The Syrian army, meanwhile, denied using cluster munitions and said it did not possess the weapon, state news agency SANA reported, after Human Rights Watch on Sunday urged the military to stop using cluster bombs.

Read more on:    un  |  bashar assad  |  lakhdar brahimi  |  syria  |  syria conflict  |  uprisings
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
11 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Hottie of the day: Nicole Meyer!

Nicole is the cover girl for the 2014 edition of SA Swimsuit! Check out some smoking hot pics of here here.

 
 

Men24.com

11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!
This is how the Top Gear presenters spend their £55 million!
Thirty and still single? There’s hope!

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!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

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 kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

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

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It may be hard to stay cool, calm and collected. Your emotions can get quite heated in the moment. You may benefit from finding a...read more

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.