UN Envoy Arrives In Damascus To Push Peace Plan

A UN Envoy to Syria Lakhda Brahimi has arrived in Damascus to push a peace plan that would end conflict between the Syrian government and rebel fighters.

Brahimi is hoping to “achieve a breakthrough” that the organization has failed to reach since fighting broke out in March of 2011. The UN envoy will attempt to broker a peace agreement that would lead to a transitional government with full authority in the country.

Al Jazeera notes that the latest trip is Brahimi’s third since he took over as the Syrian peace envoy in August. Brahimi was unable to fly in to Damascus as he has done during previous visits because of fighting near the capital’s airport.

Instead, the UN envoy landed in Beirut and traveled to Damascus by land. The Geneva communique, according to diplomats, is “the basis of [Brahimi’s] work.” The document would allow both sides to agree to terms for a transitional government that would oversee the end of the conflict in the war-torn country. It was put together with the help of Russia and China, two of President Bashar al-Assad’s greatest allies.

Fox News notes that Brahimi did not publicly speak when he arrived in Beirut on Sunday. He also did not make a public statement on his arrival in Damascus. The UN peace envoy has achieved little progress in his goal to end the violence in Syria, which has killed more than 40,000 people, according to anti-regime activists.

Russia and China initially denied that the UN should have any involvement in the conflict between the Assad regime and the rebel Free Syrian Army. A diplomat stated, however, that the UN, US, and Russia met for talks in December that “have signaled that the position of one party [Russia] has evolved.” The diplomat added, “US and Russia’s positions are now closer to each other, closer than it was six months ago.”

Despite the support from Russia and China for negotiations to end the violence in Syria, it is not clear if UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi will make any progress during his most recent visit to the country.