UN-Arab League Envoy Regrets That Syria Truce Crumbled

International envoy Lakhdar Brahimi expressed regret Monday at the failure of a four-day truce in Syria that he had arranged between President Bashar Assad’s government and rebel forces.

Brahimi also said after talks with Russian Foreign MinisterSergei Lavrovin Moscow that there was no immediate plan to send UN peacekeepers to the Middle Eastern country.

“I am terribly sorry … that this appeal [for a truce] has not been heard to the level we hoped it would, but that will not discourage us,” he said at a news conference. “It will not discourage us because Syria is very important, and the people of Syria deserve our support and interest.”

“The government has made an announcement that they were going to stop fighting during the [holiday], and quite a few of the opposition groups did the same, so now each side is accusing the other of breaking the cease-fire,” he said.

Lavrov said Russia, which is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and supported the truce, backed United Nations efforts to end the 19-month-old conflict in Syria and begin a political transition there.

Neither Brahimi nor Lavrov gave any clear indication of what next steps may be taken to halt the bloodshed.

Russia and China have vetoed three UN resolutions aimed at pressuring Assad to end the violence. Western countries say the Russian and Chinese stance has given the Syrian leader diplomatic cover to pursue his attempts to crush his opponents.

The UN-Arab League envoy will visit Beijing after Moscow, China’s Foreign Ministry said.
Source: The Moscow Times

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