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."
People are upset about quality of water and electricity supply across the country
Iran's top nuclear negotiator says parliament does not have authority over the nuclear agreement
Cairo would announce its verdict on August 10 to allow for 'further deliberations'
Human cost of clashes in Iraq in July reaches at least 1,332 people, says UNAMI
Russian, US, Saudi officials will discuss peace moves in Syria, Yemen and Libya
Kurdish regional government denounces PKK and says PKK should leave Iraqi Kurdistan
17-year-old was shot by Israeli troops on Friday while protesting murder of Palestinian infant by Jewish extremists
Khaled Bahah is highest ranking official to return to the devastated city since government announced its liberation in mid-July
Pro-Assad daily Al-Akhbar reported that Ali Mamlouk had flown to Saudi Arabia for a meeting with Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman
Ban Ki-moon says illegal settlement has given rise to violent extremism
Coalition forces supporting 'credible, reliable partners' in Daesh fight, says Gen. Killea
Sale will 'contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States' says State Deptartment
Many Egyptians remember Naguib for his role in the 'Free Officers' movement, which deposed King Faruq, the country's last king.
State of emergency extension was decided because Tunisia remained 'at war against terrorism'
EU calls for full accountability, effective law enforcement and zero tolerance for settler violence
Saudi Arabia has been a fervent supporter of the ousting of Egyptian President Morsi however the two countries have been at odds over a number of regional issues