DAMASCUS - Lakhdar Brahimi said on his first official visit to Damascus as UN and Arab League envoy on Thursday that the conflict in Syria “is getting worse,” the official SANA news agency reported.
“We came to Syria to hold meetings with our Syrian brothers because there is a big crisis, and I think it is getting worse,” the agency quoted Brahimi as saying when he arrived at Damascus airport.
Brahimi arrived in Damascus on Thursday for a three-day visit to the strife-torn country.
“I think everybody agrees the need to stop the bloodshed and to restore harmony (in Syria), and we hope that we will succeed” in the mission, said Brahimi, who was appointed two weeks ago to replace former UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan after the failure of his six-point peace plan to stop the violence.
He was on Thursday to meet with Foreign Minister Walid Muallem at 6:30 pm (1530 GMT), a ministry official said.
During his visit, he was also to meet with President Bashar al-Assad as well as with several Syrian officials and members of the Syria-based opposition, which is tolerated by the regime.
Brahimi said early this week that he knows he faces “an extremely difficult task,” with no sign of any lull in the violence ravaging the war-torn country for nearly 18 months.