News / Middle East

    International Peace Envoy Brahimi Arrives in Damascus

    Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad (R) welcomes U.N.-Arab League peace envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi at a hotel in Damascus, October 19, 2012.
    Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad (R) welcomes U.N.-Arab League peace envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi at a hotel in Damascus, October 19, 2012.
    VOA News
    International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi arrived in Damascus Friday for talks with Syrian officials on securing a temporary cease-fire in the 19-month-old conflict between Syrian forces and rebel groups.

    The U.N.-Arab League envoy is scheduled to meet Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem on Saturday morning. He is also expected to meet with President Bashar al-Assad on his trip.

    Lakhdar Brahimi

    • Named United Nations-Arab League envoy for Syria in August 2012
    • Appointed special advisor to U.N. Secretary-General in 2004
    • Headed U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2004
    • Other U.N. posts include special representative for Haiti and South Africa
    • Algerian foreign minister from 1991 to 1993
    • Under-Secretary-General of the Arab League from 1984 to 1991
    • Served as Algerian ambassador to Britain, Egypt and Sudan
    The peace envoy is pushing for Syrian officials to support a cease-fire during the four-day Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha that begins October 26. He told reporters Thursday after meeting Jordan's foreign minister that a respite in hostilities could build confidence and help bring about a longer truce in the 19-month-old conflict.

    Turkey's foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, has also appealed to Syrian forces and rebel groups to observe the cease-fire.

    On Thursday Syrian activists and medical officials said a series of government air strikes on rebel areas in the country's north had killed at least 43 people, including many children.

    The activists said the strikes happened late Wednesday and early Thursday and hit five areas in Idlib and Aleppo provinces, including the rebel-held town of Maaret al-Numan which is strategically located along the Damascus-Aleppo highway. The road connects Syria's two largest cities.

    Insurgents who have been attempting to cut the Syrian Army’s supply lines to Aleppo took control of Maaret al-Numan earlier this month.
     
    A previous cease-fire in April collapsed after just a few days, with each side blaming the other. Then-mediator Kofi Annan later resigned from his post.

    Photo Gallery: Latest Images from Syria

    • Smoke rises from behind buildings after a shelling at Karm al-Jabal in northeast Aleppo, Syria, October 19, 2012.
    • Demonstrators hold opposition flags and banners during a protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad after Friday prayers in Houla near Homs October 19, 2012.
    • Smoke, caused by mortar bombs and gunfire during clashes between the Syrian Army and rebels, rises from the Syrian border town of Haram as seen from the Turkish-Syrian border near the town of Reyhanli in Hatay province October 19, 2012.
    • Destroyed houses, the result of shelling by Syrian government forces, in the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs province, Syria, October 18, 2012.
    • A member of the Free Syrian Army holds up a poster of Hafez al-Assad, the father of current President Bashar al-Assad whose defaced picture hangs on a garbage bin in Aleppo, October, 17, 2012.
    • A family in a pick-up truck flees violence in the city of Aleppo October 17, 2012.
    • Syrians rescue people from under the rubble of a destroyed building that was attacked by a Syrian force airstrike, at Kfar Nebel town, in Idlib province, Syria, October 17, 2012.
    • A member of the Free Syrian Army patrols through the alleys of the old part of Aleppo, October 16, 2012.
    • Members of the Free Syrian Army and residents carry the body of Ammar Ibrahim Reslan, whom activists said was killed by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, near Idlib, October 16, 2012.
    • Syrian women work on their field in the village of Tarafat, Syria, October 14, 2012. The Aleppo rebellion started off in the rural areas of Aleppo province, not in the city as was the case in most other parts of Syria.
    • Free Syrian Army fighters are seen on the front line in Aleppo's Bustan Al-Basha district in Syria, October 15, 2012.
    • The Armenian plane that was forced to land at Erzurum Airport, eastern Turkey, October 15, 2012.
    • Free Syrian Army fighters in a storage room in the Karmal Jabl district of Aleppo Syria, October 14, 2012. Rolls of fabric are seen on the ground.

    You May Like

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora