Brahimi seeks Iranian help for Syria ceasefire
BEIRUT (Reuters) - International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi has asked Iranian authorities for help in achieving a ceasefire in Syria during the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha later this month, his spokesman said on Monday.
Brahimi made the request in talks with Iranian leaders during a visit to Tehran, which has strongly supported President Bashar al-Assad's efforts to crush a 19-month-old uprising.
"Brahimi has appealed to the Iranian authorities to assist in achieving a ceasefire in Syria during the forthcoming Eid Al-Adha, one of the holiest holidays celebrated by the Muslims around the world," his spokesman said, referring to the Islamic holiday which starts around October 25 and lasts several days.
Brahimi also underlined that the crisis in Syria "was getting worse every day and stressed the urgent need to stop the bloodshed", the spokesman said. A ceasefire would "help create an environment that would allow a political process to develop", he quoted Brahimi as saying.
Kofi Annan, Brahimi's predecessor, negotiated an April 12 ceasefire agreement which led to a slight dip in the violence for a few days but saw fighting steadily escalate in the ensuing weeks. Since April, clashes have spread to new areas of the country and more than 100 people are killed daily while Assad has used fighter jets and helicopters to crush the revolt.
(Reporting by Dominic Evans, Editing by Angus MacSwan)