The foreign ministry is demanding answers from Damascus into the death of three Egyptians in Homs and Aleppo as the UN special envoy to Syria visits Cairo.
Egypt’s foreign ministry announced on Tuesday it had requested the Syrian government explain the death of three Egyptian in Homs and Aleppo. The men were reportedly killed in fighting between opposition fighters and the government. According to the ministry’s statement, an urgent message was sent to Damascus demanding more thorough answers and their own investigation of the bodies after Syria claimed one of the men was a leader of an armed insurgency group in Aleppo.
Meanwhile, the United Nations special envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, is currently in Cairo to hold talks with Egypt’s foreign minister and members of the Arab League. Brahimi is currently visiting regional powers to discuss the Syrian crisis and Cairo is his fifth stop in a week.
His trip started in Saudi Arabia last Friday, before he continued to Turkey, Iran and Iraq. In Iraq Brahimi met with President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, and denied rumours of an imminent pan-Arab military intervention in Syria. Iraq is the only country in Brahimi’s trip so far that is not part of the Syrian Quartet established by the President Mohamed Morsy.
Brahimi discussed a possible Syrian cease-fire with Iranian officials during his visit. The cease-fire would be implemented during the upcoming Muslim holiday Eid Al-Adha. If implemented in Syria with the help of Iran, the UN is hopeful that it could pave the way for productive dialogue between the Syrian regime and opposition fighters, Brahimi’s spokesperson Ahmad Fawzi said. During his visit, Brahimi met with Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as well as the foreign minister and secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili.
The UN envoy has publicly called on the international community to stop the flow of arms to both sides of the Syrian conflict.
The ongoing conflict in Syria has resisted attempts to negotiate a cease-fire. The previous envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, failed to implement his six-point-plan, despite agreement from government representatives and the opposition. As the violence intensified, reports of arms being funneled into Syria have proliferated. Groups such as the Syrian Support Group, a charity that openly admits it accepts donations for the Free Syrian Army to buy weapons and supplies, make it more difficult for negotiations to take place.
The presence of Egyptians in Syria is part of the growing influx of foreign fighters in Syria, among them reportedly rebel fighters from Libya and Al-Qaeda affiliated radicals. According to AFP, the Syrian regime estimates there were 5,000 foreign fighters in Syria last month.