UN peace envoy Brahimi calls for Syria ceasefire during Muslim holiday


Diplomat and former foreign minister of Algeria Lakhdar Brahimi speaks during a joint press conference with former US president Jimmy Carter following a meeting with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in Khartoum on May 27, 2012.



UN peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi today called for a ceasefire in Syria in honor of  the upcoming Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, reported the Associated Press

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The major Islamic feast, which marks the conclusion of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, is observed by both Sunnis and Shias at the end of October. 

Brahimi made the call after a Sunday visit to Iran, a nation closely allied with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said Reuters, part of a regional tour aimed at finding a solution to the Syrian crisis, where an armed uprising against the government has devolved into a bloody civil war. 

Brahimi's office issued a statement saying the envoy, who arrived in Iraq today, "has appealed to the Iranian authorities to assist in achieving a ceasefire in Syria during the forthcoming Eid al-Adha, one of the holiest holidays celebrated by the Muslims around the world.

The statement also "underlined that the crisis in Syria was getting worse every day and stressed the urgent need to stop the bloodshed," according to AFP

The conflict in Syria, which recently roped in Turkey, is believed to have taken some 30,000 lives over the past 19 months.

Efforts by the international community to unite behind a solution to the crisis have largely failed, while repeated calls for a cease-fire have mostly been ignored.