29/12/12 15:15 CET
| updated xx mn ago
| updated at xx
UN and Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi has warned of the dire consequences of failure to find a political solution to end the violence.
Brahimi is in Moscow, following a visit by Egypt’s Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr the day before.
Syria’s opposition coalition has rebuffed Russia’s offer to hold talks, angering Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
His recent comments hint that Moscow may be resigned to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad losing power, but Lavrov does not foresee the president bowing out gracefully.
“In regard to Bashar al-Assad, he has repeatedly, in public, in private and at his recent meetings with Lakhdar Brahimi in Damascus, stated that he is not going to leave, that he will remain in the office until the very end,” said Lavrov.
Brahimi painted a stark picture of how bad the situation in Syria could become.
“If you have a panic in Damascus and you have one million people leaving Damascus in a panic – they can go only to two places: Lebanon and Jordan. Neither Lebanon, nor Jordan can support, without breaking up completely, 500,000 refugees.
“The only alternative is really hell or a political process,” Brahimi added.
Despite diplomatic efforts, the violence continues.
Unverified video uploaded to the internet purports to show the aftermath of a military air attack in a suburb of Damascus on Friday.
The rebel Free Syrian Army has announced a new offensive in Maaret al Numan, part of Idlib province, in the north west of the country.
More than 44,000 people have died in the 21-month conflict.
Latest world news
Germany’s AfD party adopts anti-Islam manifesto
Baghdad protesters leave Green Zone but vow to keep up pressure over corruption
National issues highlighted in Europe’s May Day rallies
From Jerusalem to Damascus to Moscow, Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter
Brussels airport departure hall reopens after terror attacks
Wires > News
- 04:25 CET Egyptian police raid press syndicate, arrest two journalists
- 03:32 CET Wary of China’s Indian Ocean activities, U.S., India discuss…
- 03:12 CET Brazil’s Rousseff ups social spending as Senate ruling looms
- 03:08 CET Pope condemns paedophilia as details of girl’s death shock Italy
- 00:46 CET Puerto Rico declares moratorium on Government Development Bank’s…
- 23:05 CET Islamic State boosts attacks in response to territorial losses -…
- 22:43 CET French far-right veteran Le Pen predicts daughter’s failure in…
- 21:49 CET Bomb attack in southeast Turkey wounds 10 troops, Kurdish…