Syria envoy urges 'real' change, transition government

AFP , Thursday 27 Dec 2012

UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi calls for the establishment of a transitional government during a press conference in Damascus

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, right, meets with UN Arab League deputy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi in Damascus, Syria, Monday, Dec. 24, 2012 (Photo: AP)

International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi on Thursday called for "real" change in war-torn Syria and the installation of a transition government with full powers until elections can be held.

"We need to form a government with all powers... which assumes power during a period of transition. That transition period will end with (presidential or parliamentary) elections," the UN and Arab League envoy told reporters.

Brahimi made the remarks at a news conference in Damascus, during his latest bid to persuade Syria's warring parties to negotiate an end to the 21-month conflict estimated to have killed at least 45,000 people. The Algerian diplomat had arrived in Syria on Sunday for his first visit to the country since October.

A diplomat at the UN Security Council said, however, that the veteran troubleshooter had received no support from either side during his talks in Syria.

Brahimi is to hold talks on Saturday with Moscow, the most powerful ally of President Bashar al-Assad's regime, at the request of the envoy, Russia's foreign ministry said.

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