Brahimi's mission to Syria will fail: Rebels

AFP , Sunday 16 Sep 2012

Free Syrian Army commander says he expects mission of international peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi to fail but it will not be due to actions of rebels

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (R) meets with United Nations (U.N.)-Arab League peace envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi in Damascus September 15, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

The mission of international peace envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, is bound to fail, a rebel Free Syrian Army commander told AFP by telephone on Sunday.

"We are sure Brahimi will fail like the other envoys before him, but we (the rebels) do not want to be the reason of his failure," said FSA commander for the northern province of Aleppo Colonel Abdel Jabbar Al-Okaidi, after holding a Skype conference call with the envoy and two other rebel commanders.

"We discussed the general situation in Syria, mainly focusing on the destruction wielded by the regime on the country," said Okaidi, who spoke with Brahimi along with FSA spokesman in Syria, Colonel Qassem Saadeddine, and FSA chief in Damascus Colonel Khaled Hobous.

Veteran diplomat Brahimi was appointed international envoy to Syria in early September, and arrived in the strife-torn country for his first visit on Thursday.

On Saturday Brahimi warned that the worsening conflict in Syria threatens both the region and the world at large after talks in Damascus with President Bashar al-Assad.

"The crisis is dangerous and getting worse, and it is a threat to the Syrian people, the region and the world," said Brahimi, who replaced envoy Kofi Annan who quit after a hard-sought peace deal he had brokered became a dead letter.

"We are sure Brahimi will fail because the international community does not actually want to help the Syrian people," said Okaidi. "People are being killed continuously in the country, with all kinds of destructive weapons."

Eighteen months into the crisis, the international community remains paralysed, with the West, the Gulf and Turkey calling for the removal of Assad, and Russia and China standing by its ally in Damascus.

"What kind of international community is this, what kind of democracy does it preach?" said Okaidi.

On Saturday, Brahimi insisted that "the solution can only come from the Syrian people."

"There is need for all parties to unite their efforts to find a solution for the crisis, given Syria's strategic importance... and the crisis's influence over the whole region," Brahimi said.

He said he currently had "no plan" to tackle the crisis, but a strategy will be "set... after listening to all internal, regional and international parties."

He was due to hold talks Sunday in Syria with members of the opposition tolerated by the regime.

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