Brahimi, Assad meet on ‘worrying’ situation

Brahimi, Assad meet on ‘worrying’ situation

Brahimi, Assad meet on ‘worrying’ situation

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad (R) meets International peace envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi in this handout photograph released by SANA. AP photo

U.N. peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi held talks yesterday with Syria’s president on the increasingly worrisome situation taking place across the country, in the latest diplomatic effort to solve the lingering crisis.

Brahimi said the Syrian crisis was “always worrying,” with more than 44,000 people killed since March 2011. He expressed hope that “all parties are in favor of a solution that draws the Syrian people together.”

“Al-Assad expressed his views and I told him about my meetings with leaders in the region and outside,” said the veteran Algerian diplomat. The Syrian president described his meeting with Brahimi as “friendly and constructive,” according to state television. “The government is committed to ensuring the success of all efforts aimed at protecting the sovereignty and independence of the country,” al-Assad said.

US, Russia move closer
A diplomat speaking to al-Jazeera television said Russia’s and the United State’s positions were now closer to each other or at the very least closer than they had been six months ago. Talks among the U.N., the U.S. and Russia earlier in December “have signaled that the position of one party [Russia] has evolved,” the diplomat said. Brahimi recently held talks with American and Russian officials, who have long held opposing views on how to deal with the Syrian crisis.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country’s main concern in Syria is the fate of the country and not of al-Assad.