Peace envoy Brahimi in Lebanon for Syria talks

AFP , Wednesday 17 Oct 2012

UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi arrives in Lebanese capital Beirut as part of bid to solve escalating conflict across the border

UN-Arab League peace envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi waves his hand at Beirut international airport October 17, 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

Peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi arrived in Lebanon on Wednesday on the latest leg of his second regional tour aimed at finding a solution to the Syria conflict, an AFP reporter said.

"We are striving to stop the bloodbath in Syria," Brahimi's spokesman Ahmad Fawzi told reporters as the UN-Arab League envoy set off for talks with Lebanese leaders.

A government official said Brahimi would meet President Michel Sleiman, Prime Minister Najib Mikati and parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.

The peace envoy was in Cairo on Tuesday as part of a swing that has already taken him to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq.

On Monday he called for a temporary ceasefire in Syria during the four-day Eid al-Adha Muslim holiday starting on October 26 and appealed to Iran, Syria's staunchest regional ally, to help facilitate such a truce.

Syria says it is prepared to discuss the proposal in talks with Brahimi while the exiled opposition says it would welcome any ceasefire but insists the ball in the government's court to halt its daily bombardments.

In an interview with AFP earlier this month, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Brahimi was aiming to return to Damascus for talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syria dominated Lebanon politically and militarily for three decades, and the small Mediterranean country is deeply divided over the conflict in its neighbour.

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