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Envoy Seeking Holiday Cease-fire in Syria
October 18, 2012

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The U.N.-Arab League envoy on Syria hopes to take advantage of an Islamic holiday to broker a cease-fire in the country.

Lakhdar Brahimi hopes to achieve what his predecessor, Kofi Annan, did — an end to the fighting — if only for a few days during Eid al-Adha, one of Islam's major holidays.

The Eid begins on sundown of October 25. Brahimi plans to meet with representatives of both Bashar al-Assad's government and the armed opposition, in hopes of convincing both sides to lay down their arms, if only for a few days. Annan achieved a similar aim in April, but the cease-fire lasted just a few days, with sides claiming that the other broke the truce, and Annan resigned his position.

Since then, the death toll has topped 30,000, according to international human rights groups, and both sides have claimed victories in cities and suburbs around the country. Many observers say that they conflict shows no signs of ending anytime soon. Government troops continue to be supplied by Russia and other countries, and some Middle Eastern countries continue to support the opposition.

Brahimi insisted that he was working on a comprehensive peace plan but released few other details, other than to say the would meet not with Assad but with Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem.

Both Iran and Turkey voiced their support for a cease-fire, even a temporary one. Iran has long been a supporter of Syria (both countries are on the Shia side of the Islamic divide). Turkey has increasingly been an opponent of Syria, particularly since the conflict has spilled over the border in recent weeks.

 

 

 

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