News / Middle East

UN Envoy Expects Syrian Government to Observe Holiday Truce

From right: U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, former president of Ireland Mary Robinson, Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in Cairo, Oct. 24, 2012.From right: U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, former president of Ireland Mary Robinson, Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in Cairo, Oct. 24, 2012.
x
From right: U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, former president of Ireland Mary Robinson, Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in Cairo, Oct. 24, 2012.
From right: U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, former president of Ireland Mary Robinson, Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in Cairo, Oct. 24, 2012.
Margaret Besheer
Diplomats say that international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi told the U.N. Security Council Wednesday that he expects the Syrian government to confirm to him by Thursday whether it will abide by a truce with opposition fighters during the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday.

Joint U.N.-Arab League Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi briefed the 15-member U.N. Security Council via a video link from his office in Cairo on his just-completed visit to Damascus.

Diplomats at the briefing say he told them that he had positive indications from the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad that it will implement a three-day truce over the Muslim holiday which begins Friday.  But they cautioned that the veteran diplomat is awaiting a formal answer from the government, expected by Thursday, as to whether it will comply.

As for the various groups that make up the Syrian opposition, French Ambassador Gerard Araud said Brahimi had received some indications that they would also implement a truce.

“Mr. Brahimi said he got some assurance from the opposition that it will respond by also stopping the violence. But of course, Mr. Brahimi added that it is much more complicated with the opposition because there is no unique leadership. So it is much more complicated. But he had received some indication from the different groups," said Araud.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Moscow has received indications from its ally Damascus that it would implement the temporary cessation of hostilities.

With no more U.N. monitors in Syria, the Russian envoy was asked how such a cease-fire could be verified.

“It is a cease-fire which will depend on the goodwill of the parties involved. But I think the eyes of the international community are going to be fixed on Syria, so whoever breaks the cease-fire will be appropriately received in terms of the attitude of the international community," said Churkin.

An earlier cease-fire in April, negotiated by Brahimi’s predecessor Kofi Annan, collapsed within days, with both sides accusing the other of breaking it.

The Security Council welcomed the current initiative for a pause in the fighting, saying in a statement that it could be the first step towards a longer cease-fire and the launch of a political process leading to democratic change in Syria.

Now in its 20th month, the Syrian crisis is having huge humanitarian implications both inside and outside the country. More than 2.5 million people in Syria are in need of urgent assistance, while 350,000 others have fled to neighboring countries. Syrian activists and rights groups say that more than 30,000 people have been killed in the on-going violence.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Michael from: USA
October 25, 2012 4:10 AM
The Eid Solution: the truth that the civil war might stop spoils the whole point of putting down a first step taken: an example of the victory of religion

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs