UN and Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has arrived in Syria on his first visit to the crisis-hit country since his appointment in mid-August. Brahimi arrived in Syria on Tuesday and was accompanied by Mokhtar Lamani, who will remain in Damascus to assume his new functions as head of office for the Joint Special Representative for Syria in the capital city.
On his three day visit, Brahimi is scheduled to hold talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as well as other government officials and representatives of the Syrian opposition.The UN-AL envoy replaced Kofi Annan who allegedly failed to implement his internationally-approved peace plan. Annan's six-point peace plan for Syria was launched in February 2012 and meant to enforce a cease-fire across Syria. But the plan practically failed and the former UN chief eventually resigned on August 2, 2012. Syria has been the scene of deadly unrest since mid-March, 2011, and many people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed in the violence. Damascus blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorists for the unrest while the opposition accuses the security forces of being behind the violence. The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside and accuses certain Western and regional countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, of arming and funding insurgents operating in the country. MRS/JR