Syria peace envoy Brahimi meets President Assad
International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has met Syria’s embattled president Bashar al-Assad.
Mr Brahimi, who represents the UN and the Arab League, is in Damascus to press both the government and the rebels to observe a truce over the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.
On Friday, he met Foreign Minister Walid Muallem and opposition leaders.
Syrian state media report that several people were killed in an explosion in a Christian area of Damascus on Sunday.
A car bomb apparently targeted a police station in the Bab Touma district of the old city.
In a statement after the talks with Mr Brahimi, Mr Assad said: “Syria is open to any sincere efforts for a political solution to the Syrian crisis based on respect for Syria’s sovereignty and the rejection of outside intervention.”
Mr Brahimi said he had proposed a three-day ceasefire over the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, which which begins on Friday and lasts over the weekend, and was waiting for a response from Mr Assad’s government.
He told reporters that some members of the opposition whom he had met were open to the idea of a ceasefire only if the Syrian government committed to it.
“All the opposition members we met outside the country as well as the officials in the neighbouring countries said that it is a good idea,” he said.
“If we achieve this ceasefire during the al-Adha holiday and maintain it, we can try and build on it. If it does not happen, then we will keep trying and we hope we can find another way to bring relief to the Syrian people.”
A ceasefire that started on 12 April was soon broken and more violence prevailed.
Heavy clashes were reported on Saturday on the main road between Damascus and Aleppo, particularly around the town of Maarat al-Numan.
At least 13 people have been killed and 29 injured as a powerful blast hit outside a police station in Bab Touma neighborhood in the old part of Damascus, reports the state news agency. It comes as Lakhdar Brahimi visits the Syrian capital for talks.
Smoke rose above what were believed to be twin car bomb explosions in front of a police station, witnesses said. Other reports suggest it was a taxi rigged with explosives.
Ambulances were seen rushing to the scene as police shut access to the area, Twitter user NMSyria says.
At least 13 people were killed by the blast, SANA reported citing sources in the Interior Ministry. But given that the area is usually crowded, there are fears the death toll could be much higher. It is also unclear whether any police staff are among those dead or injured.
Dozens of cars were burnt and many houses sustained extensive damage.
The area was busy at the time of the explosion, with people returning from Sunday prayers. Bab Touma is a predominantly Christian neighborhood. It is also a popular shopping place in Damascus.
there is zero chance of peace for the reasosn i raised last week..after 2 years they are not going to give back gains..