Pope feels for victims as Syrian crisis labelled global threat
”The crisis is dangerous and getting worse, and it is a threat to the Syrian people, the region and the world,” said Mr Brahimi, who took over as envoy this month from the former United Nations chief Kofi Annan.
Mr Assad told state television that dialogue between Syrians held the key to a solution, and called on foreign countries to stop supplying arms to his foes.
”The real problem in Syria is that of combining politics with the work being done on the ground,” he said.
”The success of political action is dependent on putting pressure on the countries that finance and train the terrorists, and which bring weapons into Syria, until they stop doing so.”
Mr Brahimi said he had ”no plan” to tackle the crisis but a strategy will be ”set … after listening to all internal, regional and international parties”.
Russia, a strong ally of Syria’s government, insisted it was not ”clinging” to any particular Syrian leader but said it would block any new UN resolution aimed at putting pressure on Mr Assad.
Pope Benedict, while on a visit to neighbouring Lebanon, identified with the victims of the Syrian conflict.
”I want to tell you how much I admire your courage,” the pontiff said, adding that he was ”sad because of your suffering and your bereavement”.
He also spoke at an open-air encounter that organisers said attracted more than 350,000 worshippers, as well as Muslim and Christian officials. He addressed young people at the Maronite Christian patriarchate in Bkerke, a village outside Beirut.
The meeting was open to youth from all faiths and none, and the Pope also had warm words for those Muslims there. [More]