- Bashar al-Assad - civil war - interview - peace - Syria
Syria slams UN envoy over comments to FRANCE 24
Syria reacted angrily on Monday to comments made by new international peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi (photo), who told FRANCE 24 that the country had already entered into a civil war.
Syria dismissed comments by new international peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi on Monday, who described the country’s 17-month conflict as “civil war” in an interview with FRANCE 24 the previous day.
"To speak of civil war in Syria contradicts reality and is found only in the head of conspirators," the Syrian foreign ministry said in a statement published by the official SANA news agency.
The statement was made after Algerian diplomat Brahimi told FRANCE 24 in a televised interview that Syria had already entered the throes of civil war. "There are a lot of people who say that we must avoid civil war in Syria. Me, I believe that it has already been the case for some time. What we need to do is to stop the civil war and that is not going to be easy," he said.
"A civil war, it is the cruellest kind of conflict,” he continued. “When a neighbour kills his neighbour and sometimes his brother, it is the worst of conflicts."
The Syrian uprising, which began in March 2011, has caused the deaths of 23,000 people according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The United Nations puts the death toll at 17,000.
Brahimi, appointed by the UN Security Council to replace Kofi Annan, who resigned earlier this month, is a veteran Algerian diplomat who is supported by both the West and Assad's traditional allies Russia and China.
Brahimi met François Hollande on Monday in his first talks with a foreign leader since taking up the post last week. “I am in listening mode,” he told the French president.