UN-Arab League Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi has arrived in Damascus to make a new attempt to end the country's months-long crisis.
The veteran Algerian diplomat crossed into Syria from Lebanon on Sunday and was received by Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad and the head of the UN political office in Damascus, Mukhtar Lamani.
He is expected to meet President Bashar al-Assad, government officials and some opposition factions to discuss the recent situation in Syria and probably announce a new initiative in the hope of bringing the unrest to an end.
This is Brahimi's third trip to Damascus since taking the post from former UN chief Kofi Annan in August.
Brahimi last visited Syria on October 19 and during his five-day visit, he met President Assad and other officials to secure a temporary ceasefire for the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed in the turmoil.
A recent UN report has revealed that militants from 29 countries have so far filtered into Syria to fight against the Damascus government, most of whom are extremist Salafists.
The Syrian government has repeatedly said that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and that a very large number of the militants operating in the country are foreign nationals.