Brahimi addresses 'very serious' matters with Assad
International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi has said talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad today were "very serious" and "terribly important" in an effort to end the country's 18-month-old conflict.
I have met with President Assad. We talked about this very serious and dangerous crisis which is becoming worse by the day . It is terribly important and urgent to address it in the proper manner. I repeat the crisis constitutes a threat on the Syrian people, on the region as a whole and on the world actually.
I think President Assad is aware more than I do the dimension of this crisis and how danger it is. I informed President Assad that we will try our best and exert all efforts to come up with ideas that will help the Syrians to get out of the ordeal.
I heard from Assad and all Syrian officials that they will help Mr. Lamani who will be based in Damascus to do his job at the best way and succeed in his task.
Chinese state media accuses US of 'sowing discord' over Syria
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi vowed goodwill after talks over Syria which had been preceded by criticism from Beijing of her calls for a multilateral solution to the territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas.
The overseas edition of the state-run the People's Daily laid out China's concerns ahead of their meeting, suggesting America was seeking to gain leverage from China's tensions with Japan and South-east Asian countries.
China backs a "political transition" in Syria to end worsening bloodshed after 18 months of unrest, said Mr Yang, while repeating Beijing's opposition to forceful foreign intervention.
Mrs Clinton said it was "no secret" the US was disappointed by the positions of China and Russia on Syria, and she reiterated that the best course of action remained tough UN Security Council action.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon says that the job that incoming UN-Arab League mediator, Lakhdar Brahimi has been tasked with is "daunting but not insurmountable."
Speaking at the UN assembly, Moon said:
The conflict is intensifying.
The longer it goes on, the more difficult it will be to contain.
The more difficult it will be to find a political solution.
The more challenging it will be to rebuild the country and the economy.
This is the context in which Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi takes up his duties. I thank him for taking on this task. It is daunting but not insurmountable.
To succeed, he needs your united and effective support to help the warring parties realize that the solution will not come through arms, but through dialogue that respects the universal rights and freedoms of all Syrians.
Red Cross President holds 'positive' talks with Assad
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) President Peter Maurer met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad today during his visit to the country.
A spokesman said Maurer and Assad met for 45 minutes and the meeting was "positive".
The ICRC President raised issues relating to the protection of the civilian population during hostilities, including the importance of ensuring access to health-care and basic necessities for survival.
Maurer also raised the question of access to persons detained in Syria, before meeting the country's vice-minister for foreign affairs Fayssal Mekdad.