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

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally Draws Thousands in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' 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.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs