Brahimi says he has a plan to end Syria conflict


The joint U.N.-Arab League peace envoy says he has a proposal to end the 21-month conflict in Syria.

Lakhdar Brahimi said Sunday in Cairo after meeting with Arab League officials he believes his plan, based on an agreement signed in Geneva earlier this year, “could be adopted by the international community.” He made no further comment on the proposal.

The Geneva plan included a ceasefire, the formation of a government and steps towards elections, either for a new president, or a new parliament. But it left the fate of President Bashar al-Assad unclear although the Syrian opposition and foreign governments who back them insist he must go.

Brahimi said something needs to be done soon because the situation in Syria is “getting worse by the day.”

“The situation in Syria is bad, very, very bad, and it is getting worse and the pace of deterioration is increasing,” he said.

“People are talking about Syria being split into a number of small states … this is not what will happen, what will happen is Somalization: war lords,” he said.

Somalia has been without effective central government since civil war broke out there in 1991.

The peace envoy said Saturday in Moscow where he met with Russia’s foreign minister that the choice in Syria is between “hell or the political process.” He said the world has to work “ceaselessly” for the political process.

Brahimi has warned the magnitude of the conflict in Syria could worsen if fighting engulfs Damascus, which could exacerbate a refugee crisis.

Brahimi recently called for an interim government in Syria until new elections can be held.

“I say that the solution must be this year: 2013, and, God willing, before the second anniversary of this crisis,” Lakhdar Brahimi said at a news conference at the Arab League in Cairo, referring to the start of the uprising in March 2011.

“A solution is still possible but is getting more complicated every day,” he added. “We have a proposal and I believe this proposal could be adopted by the international community.”

VOA/ Reuters