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

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Russia’s Prosecutor General to Review Legality of Baltics Independence

Move, announced Tuesday, has alarmed Baltic States and strained even further their increasingly tense ties with Moscow More

US Urged to Keep Up Pressure on Cuba Rights

Communist government continues to hold dozens of political prisoners, tightly restricts freedom of expression, uses threats, intimidation to discourage critics, according to activist groups More

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.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs