BEIRUT - International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said on Wednesday that Syrian crisis risked spreading across borders into an "all-consuming" conflict unless it was eventually addressed.
Brahimi, speaking after talks in Beirut, said he hoped this month's Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha offered a chance for both sides to cease fire and warned that the Middle East would suffer unless the violence was contained, Reuters reported.
"This crisis cannot remain within Syrian borders indefinitely. Either it will be addressed or it will increase ... and be all-consuming," he said.
On Sunday he appealed to Iranian leaders to support a proposal for a ceasefire to mark Eid al-Adha. Speaking in Lebanon he said Syria's opposition had told him that any ceasefire by Assad's forces would be reciprocated immediately.
"We heard from everyone we met in the opposition, and everyone (else) we met that, if the government stops using violence 'We will respond to this directly'," he told reporters.
"We hope this will be a very small step that would save the Syrian people (the bloodshed) they are going through, because they are burying hundreds of people every day," he added.
"If the number of people buried during the Eid was reduced, perhaps this could be a start to bringing Syria back from the dangerous situation which it has slipped into... and we could talk to the parties inside and outside (Syria) to work towards helping the Syrian solving their problem," Brahimi said.
On Tuesday, Iranian ambassador to Syria Mohammad Reza Raouf Sheibani said the Islamic Republic has developed a plan aimed at ending unrest in the Arab country.
The Iranian ambassador said in Damascus that Iran’s plan seeks to end the Syrian crisis politically “through national and inclusive dialogue between the country’s various political and social groups and parties,” IRNA reported.
“In this framework, the Islamic Republic developed a plan, which was submitted to different international and regional parties, including the countries of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey,” Sheibani noted.
The Iranian ambassador also said that a copy of the plan was given to Brahimi during his recent visit to Iran, adding that another copy “was sent to Syrian authorities, who raised some questions after reviewing it.”
“The Islamic Republic has always expressed support for the Syrian nation and government ever since the unrest began in the Arab country,” Sheibani said.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Damascus says outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorists are the driving factor behind the unrest and deadly violence while the opposition accuses the security forces of being behind the killings.
Western states have been calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down. However, Russia and China are strongly opposed to the Western drive to oust Assad.
The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the armed militants are foreign nationals, mostly from Egypt, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan.
Subscribe to our RSS feed to stay in touch and receive all of TT updates right in your feed reader