* Brahimi says outside help needed to get sides talking
* Says state will collapse into "hell" without political
* Plan stalled on demands Assad excluded from transitional
By Ayman Samir and Maria Golovnina
CAIRO, Dec 30 The U.N.-Arab League negotiator
for Syria called on Sunday for outside help to get the warring
parties talking to each other, without which he said the
country's 21-month civil war would not end.
Speaking in Egypt after visiting Moscow and Damascus in the
past week, Lakhdar Brahimi said the situation in Syria had
deteriorated sharply, but a solution was still possible under
the terms of a peace plan agreed in Geneva in June.
"The problem is that both sides aren't speaking to one
another," he said. "This is where help is needed from outside."
Brahimi has struggled to bridge the mutual hostility between
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his foes, and efforts to
find a negotiated settlement to the conflict, which has claimed
at least 44,000 lives, have failed to make headway.
Addressing reporters at the Cairo headquarters of the Arab
League, Brahimi said the Syrian state would collapse without a
negotiated solution and turn into "hell".
The peace plan has stalled on demands by the opposition that
Assad be excluded from any transitional government, and Brahimi
now cuts an unpopular figure among the rebels, who have been
emboldened by their advances on the ground.
"I say that the solution must be this year: 2013, and, God
willing, before the second anniversary of this crisis," he said.
The Geneva agreement, which leaves Assad's fate unclear but
includes a ceasefire and steps towards elections, was negotiated
by Brahimi's predecessor Kofi Annan, who later quit in
frustration at divisions in the U.N. Security Council.
"A solution is still possible but is getting more
complicated every day," said Brahimi. "We have a proposal, and I
believe this proposal is adopted by the international
A day after Egyptian leader Mohamed Mursi said Assad's
office had no place in Syria's future, Brahimi met Egyptian
Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr, who dismissed the
possibility of a military resolution, state media reported.
"The situation in Syria is bad, very, very bad, and it is
getting worse, and the pace of deterioration is increasing,"
Brahimi told reporters.
"People are talking about Syria being split into a number of
small states ... This is not what will happen. What will happen
is Somalisation: warlords." Somalia has been without effective
central government since civil war broke out there in 1991.