Cairo, (AFP) – Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi on Wednesday called on the Syrian government and its armed opposition to agree on a truce for the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday that starts on October 26.
A statement from the Arab bloc said Arabi called on “the Syrian government and armed Syrian opposition to respond to calls for a truce and stop violence and military action during the days of Eid.”
He also asked for international support for a truce during the four-day holiday that marks the climax of the annual hajj pilgrimage.
Arabi met UN and League peace envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi on Tuesday for a briefing on his regional visit as efforts for a political solution to the Syrian crisis floundered.
Brahimi, who was in Lebanon on Wednesday, warned the violence could scorch the region which has become increasingly divided on sectarian lines over the battle between Sunni rebels and President Bashar al-Assad’s minority Alawite-led regime.
“This crisis cannot remain confined within Syrian territory,” Brahimi told reporters in Beirut, urging a truce. “A truce for Eid al-Adha would be a microscopic step on the road to solving the Syria crisis.”
The Damascus regime says it is prepared to discuss the proposal in talks with Brahimi. The exiled opposition says it would welcome a ceasefire, but insists the government should first halt daily bombardments.
The violence has killed more than 33,000 people since the outbreak of a revolt against Assad’s regime in March 2011, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.