The Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on the Syrian crisis, Lakhdar Brahimi, discussed the ongoing violence and worsening humanitarian situation with President Bashar al-Assad during a meeting in Damascus on Saturday.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mr. Brahimi said the crisis is getting worse and has serious consequences on the Syrian people, the region and the entire world.
“We discussed this issue. I believe that the President is more aware than me of the scope and seriousness of this crisis,” said the envoy, who arrived earlier this week for meetings with representatives of the Government, the opposition and civil society.
“I informed the President that we, in the name of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, will exert every effort, present ideas and mobilize capacities and potentials required for this situation in order to best help the Syrian people out of this crisis.”
More than 18,000 people, mostly civilians, have died since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began 18 months ago. Amidst reports of an escalation in violence in recent weeks in many towns and villages, as well as the country's two biggest cities, Damascus and Aleppo, UN agencies now estimate that some 2.5 million Syrians are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
“This crisis is becoming worse by the day,” stated Mr. Brahimi, adding that it is urgent to address it in a proper manner.
Following his visit to Syria, Mr. Brahimi will go to New York to meet with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council, “as well as a number of States which have influence, interests, or both, with regard to the Syrian issue,” he said.
Mr. Brahimi earlier this month assumed the peace-facilitation role which had been carried out since February by a former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, with the aim of bringing an end to all violence and human rights violations in Syria, and promoting a peaceful solution to the conflict.