UN envoy to Damascus says Syria risks becoming 'new Somalia'

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 30, 2012 08:30 hrs

UN-Arab League envoy to Damascus, Lakhdar Brahimi, has said that a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Syria seemed far away, adding that the country risked being

slithering into 'hell'.

Following talks in Moscow with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Brahimi said there was no alternative to negotiations.

He said that the country faced two stark choices, Syrian-led political dialogue between the rebels and the regime, or what he darkly called 'Somali-isation'.

According to the Guardian, Brahimi, who held talks on Monday in Damascus with Syria's defiant President Bashar al-Assad, said stopping the bloody civil war in 2013 was indispensable.

He said that after almost two years of fighting, both sides 'disagreed violently even about the analysis of the situation'.

The Assad regime insisted it was battling 'terrorists', while the armed opposition said it was leading a popular uprising against an 'illegitimate' government, already in power for 40 years, the report said.

According to the report, Brahimi's trip to Moscow came amid an upswing in diplomatic activity by the Kremlin, Assad's most significant foreign backer and arms supplier.

On Saturday government troops reportedly seized back an area of Homs, following fierce shelling of the Deir Baalbeh district, the report added. (ANI)

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