First Published: 2013-01-22

 

Brahimi follows in footsteps of Annan: Mission doomed to fail

 

Arab League chief says Syria peace envoy's mission has not brought ‘glimmer of hope’ in ending bloodshed, urges UN action to enforce ceasefire.

 

Middle East Online

'No flicker of hope' for Brahimi

RIYADH - Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi said Monday that Syria peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi's mission had not brought a "glimmer of hope" in ending the bloodshed, and urged UN action to enforce a ceasefire.

"All contacts (with the warring sides and international actors) made by Brahimi have thus far not yielded a glimmer of hope to end this crisis," Arabi told leaders meeting for an Arab League economic summit in Riyadh.

The head of the 22-member bloc urged the Arab leaders to call "the UN Security Council for an immediate meeting and to issue a resolution enforcing a ceasefire to stop the bloodbath".

He also called for an "international monitoring force to make sure that fighting has stopped".

Meanwhile, UN leader Ban Ki-moon and his Syria conflict envoy hit out at "outside powers" for providing arms to rebels and the government that are fueling the murderous death toll.

The UN secretary-general and UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi both expressed "anguish" at the carnage in the 22-month-old conflict and the major powers' failure to agree to a stance on the war to push the two sides into talks, said Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky.

Brahimi is in New York for talks with Ban and other key officials before briefing the UN Security Council next week on his efforts to halt the civil war, which the UN says has left more than 60,000 dead.

Both men "expressed deep disappointment and anguish at the appalling levels of killing and destruction carried out by both the government and the opposition, fueled by outside powers providing weaponry to both sides," Nesirky said.

The UN did not name any countries. Russia and Iran are key arms suppliers to President Bashar al-Assad, however. The Syrian government in turn accuses Qatar, Turkey and other Gulf states of arming the opposition.

Ban and Brahimi also "expressed their consternation about the lack of a unified international posture that could lead to a transition as agreed at Geneva last June and put an end to the desperate suffering of the Syrian people," Nesirky added.

The United States, Russia, Britain, France and China and other key states agreed on a transition plan at the Geneva meeting with former Syria envoy Kofi Annan.

Russia and China have blocked three UN Security Council resolutions that threatened sanctions against Assad.

Moscow is now rejecting any transition that does not include Assad, at least initially. The Syrian opposition refuses to hold talks with Assad.

The United States and European powers have said that Assad must stand down.

More than 60,000 people have been killed in the conflict that erupted in March 2011 as a popular uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, according to UN figures.

Syria slammed Brahimi as biased and described his mission as "useless".

"It is clear that Brahimi is now out of the loop for the solution for Syria. He has taken sides, he is not a mediator," wrote the pro-regime daily Al-Watan on Sunday.

"Brahimi is incapable of finding a solution to the Syrian crisis."

The veteran Algerian troubleshooter had criticised as "one-sided" a proposal by Assad to end the crisis.

Moscow, a staunch ally of the Assad regime, said Monday it was sending two planes to Lebanon to evacuate more than 100 Russians from Syria.

Monitors said Syrian warplanes on Monday launched raids on two towns east of Damascus, while the army shelled and deployed new reinforcements to the rebel-held town of Daraya, as part of its bid to quell the insurgency in the outskirts of Damascus once and for all.

 

Serious challenges for Arab leaders in Amman

US, allies talk of post-ISIS future, but have no plan

Tributes flood in for anti-apartheid hero Ahmed Kathrada

Tunisians demand Muslim marriage decree revoked

Historic Casablanca buildings crumbling in silence

UN says over 300 civilians killed since start of west Mosul offensive

Disputed Iraqi province votes to fly Kurdish flag

Germany laments Turkey's 'unacceptable' spying

Syria opposition says no peace deal without US role

Turkey sends delegation to UK over electronics ban

UN chief urges Arab leaders to confront Syria war

Carlos the Jackal sentenced to life for Paris bombing

Arab League set to oppose Trump Israel embassy shift

US vows to never allow 'Israel-bashing' at UN

Netanyahu ban on MP visits to flashpoint holy site challenged

IS launches counter-attack to defend north Syria town

Saudi intercepts four ‘smuggled’ Yemen rebel missiles

Saudi to set up investment fund to help Jordan

Iran slams Bahrain terror cell claims as ‘delusional’

UN says 30 million unsure of next meal in MENA region

Putin to meet Iran President in Moscow

Al-Qaeda, on the rise again, hits Assad where it hurts

Germany’s Turks cast early ballots for Erdogan referendum

German court convicts Pakistani of spying for Iran

Qatar to invest £5bn in UK within five years

'Kill Erdogan' banner probed in Switzerland, Turkey

Arab League chief urges resolution to Syria conflict

Israel arrests 22 ultra-Orthodox sex offenders

Syrian forces pause offensive on IS-held dam for repairs

Dubai's Emaar Malls offers $800m to buy Souq.com

Iraq launches fresh Mosul Old City advance

US-backed fighters battle IS near north Syria town

Hamas partially reopens Beit Hanoun crossing

Iraq investigates Mosul civilian deaths

In Algeria, everyone wants to be MP, few likely to vote

Yemeni rebel supporters flood streets on conflict’s anniversary

Syria fighting damages IS-held dam posing rising water risk

Iran to symbolically sanction 15 US companies

Iran to appeal seizure of 9/11 compensation money

Hamas shuts Gaza crossing after assassination of official

Deep concern as Israeli laws entrench the occupation

Turkey’s Kurds could sway tight referendum vote

Al-Qaeda, on the rise again, hits Assad where it hurts

US and allies talk of post-ISIS future, but have no plan

Israel’s air strike on Syria spooks Middle East