Syria envoy Brahimi meets Assad in Damascus: TV

DAMASCUS Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:27am EDT

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (R) meets U.N.-Arab League peace envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi in Damascus October 21, 2012, in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA. REUTERS/Sana

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (R) meets U.N.-Arab League peace envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi in Damascus October 21, 2012, in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA.

Credit: Reuters/Sana

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DAMASCUS (Reuters) - International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi, who is pressing for a temporary ceasefire in Syria's civil war, met President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on Sunday, state television said.

It gave no details of the talks. Brahimi has called for a ceasefire during the Islamic Eid al-Adha holiday at the end of this week to stem the bloodshed in a 19-month-old conflict which activists say has killed at least 30,000 people.

Brahimi, the joint U.N.-Arab League special envoy for the Syria crisis, has been criss-crossing the region with the aim of convincing Assad's main backers and his foes to support the idea of a truce during the holiday, which starts at dusk on Thursday.

He held talks on Saturday with Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem, which the ministry described as "constructive and serious".

Syria has so far given a guarded response to Brahimi's ceasefire proposal, suggesting it wants guarantees that rebels would reciprocate any move by Assad's forces.

(Reporting by Dominic Evans; Editing by Samia Nakhoul)

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