DAMASCUS (Reuters) – International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi, who is pressing for a temporary ceasefire in Syria’s civil war, met President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on Sunday, state television said.
It gave no details of the talks. Brahimi has called for a ceasefire during the Islamic Eid al-Adha holiday at the end of this week to stem the bloodshed in a 19-month-old conflict which activists say has killed at least 30,000 people.
Brahimi, the joint U.N.-Arab League special envoy for the Syria crisis, has been criss-crossing the region with the aim of convincing Assad’s main backers and his foes to support the idea of a truce during the holiday, which starts at dusk on Thursday.
He held talks on Saturday with Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem, which the ministry described as “constructive and serious”.
Syria has so far given a guarded response to Brahimi’s ceasefire proposal, suggesting it wants guarantees that rebels would reciprocate any move by Assad’s forces.