News / Middle East

Syria Envoy Brahimi Warns Conflict Could Spread

Lebanon's President Michel Sulaiman (L) meets with UN-Arab League peace envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi at the presidential palace in Baabda, near Beirut, October 17, 2012.
Lebanon's President Michel Sulaiman (L) meets with UN-Arab League peace envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi at the presidential palace in Baabda, near Beirut, October 17, 2012.
Edward Yeranian
The U.N.-Arab League special envoy for Syria said Wednesday that Syria's civil war could spread across Middle Eastern borders into an "all-consuming conflict" unless the violence is eventually contained.
 
The veteran Algerian diplomat, who played a major role in negotiating an end to Lebanon's civil war in 1989, said at a Beirut news conference that it is imperative a cease-fire be worked out in Syria.
 
Brahimi said it will be impossible to contain the crisis within Syria's borders forever. Either the crisis will be stopped, he said, or it will get bigger and spread to other parts of the region.
 
Brahimi said Syrian opposition leaders had told him that they would "respond positively to any cease-fire announcement by the government," and that he hoped to broker one before Islam's upcoming Eid al-Adha festival.
 
He said other regional states, as well as the United Nations and the Arab League, have roles to play in brokering such a cease-fire, but that the Syrians themselves need to be the principal instigators.
 
Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said Syria is "waiting for Brahimi to come to Damascus" to assess the possibility, and "hopes he is bringing positive elements." CNN reported that Brahimi is expected in Syria late Wednesday.
 
Analysts skeptical
 
Middle East analyst Timor Goksel, a former U.N. spokesman who teaches at the American University of Beirut, said he does not think Brahimi has a specific plan to end the crisis, but that he is sounding out the important players in the region.
 
"The only traction that will count in this whole thing is Iran and Russia and I don't know what he got from those places," Goksel said. "The others are not really important. The others are sort of touching base and hearing a general view, but what we have to look for is what he got, if anything, from Russia and Iran."
 
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikail Bogdanov downplayed Brahimi's mission during comments in Moscow Wednesday, saying that Brahimi did "not have any specific peace plan to resolve the conflict."
 
Middle East scholar Fouad Ajami of the Hoover Institution in California said Brahimi is unlikely to achieve a breakthrough in the Syria conflict, any more than his predecessor, former secretary-general of the U.N. Kofi Annan.
 
Ajami said "there is nothing new in the diplomatic arena about Syria" and that the Syrian people "are on their own for the most part and know it." He said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has "managed to defy the [world] powers" as well as NATO, and that the only factor that might change the equation is more forceful action "by the U.S., Turkey or the Arab states."
 
Fighting in Syria continued Wednesday.
 
Rights groups said rebels shot down a Syrian military helicopter as troops fought to retake the northwestern town of Maaret al-Numan along the Damascus-Aleppo highway.
 
The U.N. envoy's visit to Beirut is the latest foray in what has been a marathon negotiating mission during the past week. That mission has taken him to Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt and now Lebanon.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: @Martina from: Астана
October 17, 2012 3:40 PM
There's a great article out. google 'myth of the peaceful, moderate muslim.'

of course they're out to kill us. anything not islam is against their way of life. hence the term islamist = islamic terrorist. funny how media starts calling that pot black but they refuse to call illegal Mexicans illegal Mexicans, but 'undocumented.' either way, all non-muslims are waking up to the reality of this dangerous cult.


by: Edward from: Cairo
October 17, 2012 3:22 PM
That is extremely interesting. Exactly when and where did that happen? I'm curious.
Edward Yeranian


by: D3S from: Pulkiuve EU
October 17, 2012 2:18 PM
the Arab world or Islamic world should solve their own problems... any solution the West could propose will be held for further terror incitement against us...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid