World Bulletin / News Desk
Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N.-Arab League mediator on Syria, said on Monday he would make his first visit to Damascus since taking the post in a few days and hoped to meet President Bashar al-Assad.
Brahimi, who replaced Kofi Annan as international mediator on Syria this month, told reporters at the Cairo-based Arab League that his assignment was a "very difficult mission but it was not my right to refuse to do what I can to try to help the Syrian people."
He has made similar comments about his mission since he was named as the new envoy. Annan had blamed a U.N. Security Council impasse for hampering his six-month bid to broker peace leading to his decision to step down.
"I will go to Damascus after a few days and I will meet officials and people from civil society and intellectuals in the capital and, God willing, outside the capital," Brahimi said, but did not give specific timings.
Asked if he would meet the Syrian president, Brahimi said: "I hope so but I don't know."
Brahimi made no reference to Iranian reports that he planned to visit Tehran after Syria.
Iran's Mehr news agency quoted on Sunday Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi as saying that Brahimi would visit Tehran, following a phone conversation on Saturday with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi.
Brahimi and Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby met anti-Assad protesters outside the League headquarters in the centre of Cairo on the edge of Tahrir Square, where demonstrators had gathered to bring down Egypt's Hosni Mubarak last year.
The protesters called for the League and other nations to impose a no-fly zone over Syria, to which Elaraby replied: "We cannot. The nations that can impose a no-fly zone on Syria do not want to do so."
Egypt has summoned its envoy to Pakistan after Pakistan criticized the death sentences of former President Mohamed Morsi.
PKK and Iranian govt sign an agreement that PKK has suspended military operations inside Iran; in return, Iranian govt will support PKK especially in Iraq.
Oman and Iran have signed an agreement to set boundaries between their shared boundaries in the Sea of Oman.
A Pakistani military official says raids by security forces in the port city of Karachi have killed seven gunmen
The trial of the Washington Post's Tehran correspondent Jason Rezaian, to open in Iran on Tuesday, a senior judicial official said.
Saudi-led jets have struck the home of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa.
The UN has urged Lebanon to choose a president, a position that has been vacant since May 2014.
The Kurdish President Masoud Barzani has denounced the infighting between Kurdish fighters as 'suicide'.
A Cairo-hosted conference for Libyan tribes is scheduled to be held in the Egyptian capital from Monday through Wednesday
This is the first time pro-Muslim Brotherhood figures from Libya will attend a meeting in Cairo
A delegation from Egypt's Foreign Ministry had received the tribal leaders at the airport.
Turkey and the United States have agreed on a deal to provide air support for some forces on the Syrian opposition.
The Egyptian army has destroyed 521 entry points to the underground tunnels that border the Gaza strip.
Mohamed al-Falahgi, a former lawmaker and member of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, died in Gamasa prison. Al-Falahgi was arrested on violence-related charges in August of 2013
The group had captured the hilltops of Quba'a and Naqar in Syria's southwestern Quinetra province