Tuesday 25 September 2012
NEW YORK: International envoy Lakhdar Brahimi says the civil war in Syria threatens to spill across the Middle East and is “extremely bad and getting worse.”
The Syria conflict is expected to dominate the annual UN General Assembly debate of world leaders which starts in New York today.
Brahimi told reporters after a closed-door briefing to the UN Security Council that he and the council members began to discuss “the way forward.”
Brahimi said he didn’t have “a full plan” now but was working with a few ideas he hopes to expand after another visit to the region.
He said the situation remains stalemated and “extremely difficult,” with no prospect to move forward “today or tomorrow.”
But Brahimi said he told the council that “paradoxically,” now that he has learned a little more about what’s happening, “I think that we will find an opening in the not too distant future.”
The envoy said he saw no immediate prospect for an end to the Syria civil war.
“There is no prospect for today or tomorrow to move forward,” Brahimi said.
Brahimi told the UN Security Council that Assad only wants a return to the “old Syria.” which he and his father had ruled for more than 40 years.
Brahimi told the council that the torture of detainees has become “routine” and that people were now afraid to go to hospitals which are in the hands of government forces.
The envoy estimated that 1.5 million people have now fled their homes and said Syria faces growing food shortages because harvests have been slashed by the fighting.