Syria peace envoy to meet Assad

  • International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is due to hold talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad later today in a bid to resolve the country's deadly 18-month conflict.

    Brahimi replaced former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan earlier this month as the UN-Arab League Syria mediator.

    He arrived in Damascus on Thursday as government forces continued their efforts to fight off rebels attempting to seize control of suburbs outside the Syrian capital.

    “Mr Brahimi will hold more meetings including with a group of Arab ambassadors and charge d' affairs, a European Union delegation, an opposition group and civil society representatives and Mr Brahimi will meet the Syrian President," UN spokeswoman Vannina Maestracci told reporters on Friday.

    Brahimi has described his mission of trying to broker a peace deal between the opposition and Assad loyalists as "nearly impossible."

    Since the start of the uprising in March last year, the death toll has reached nearly 30,000 while the refugee count has surpassed 200,000.