Brahimi Arrives in Syria via Land Border Crossing with Lebanon

U.N.-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi arrived in Syria on Sunday for talks on the country's crisis, Agence France Presse reported.

Brahimi entered Syria via a land border crossing with Lebanon after arriving earlier in the day at the Rafik Hariri International Airport from Cairo.

"The international envoy crossed the Lebanese-Syrian border at about 2:00 pm (1200 GMT)," a Lebanese border official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Airport officials in Beirut told AFP on condition of anonymity that the United Nations was tasked with ensuring Brahimi's security on his journey into the embattled country.

Brahimi's visit to Syria is the first since October 19.

During his previous five-day stay, he held meetings with President Bashar Assad and other top Syrian officials over a tentative ceasefire for the Muslim Eid al-Adha feast. Despite pledges, the truce did not hold.

Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi, who told reporters he was unaware of any visit by Brahimi, reiterated calls for national dialogue to solve the spiraling crisis.

"Only Syrians will participate in national dialogue," he said. "The Syrians will decide for themselves. We tell those who do not want dialogue to engage in talks, because time is running out."

Source: Agence France Presse, Naharnet

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