Last updated: 20 October, 2012

UN and Arab League chiefs urge Eid truce in Syria

The heads of the Arab League and the United Nations issued a joint call to Syria’s warring parties urging them to observe a ceasefire over the Eid al-Adha holiday on October 26 to 28.

Nabil al-Arabi and Ban Ki-moon on Friday pleaded with those fighting “to heed the call of the special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi for a ceasefire and a cessation of all violence in all its forms during the period of the Eid al-Adha.”

They called on “all regional and international actors to support this appeal.”

Such a truce should last a long time, they said, as it “could create the space to allow a peaceful political process that realizes the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people for democracy, equality and justice.”

The Eid al-Adha festival, which coincides with the yearly pilgramage to Mecca, is one of the holiest periods on the Muslim calendar.

Ban and al-Arabi said they “appeal to all, in particular the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic as the stronger party, to show wisdom and vision and stop the killing and destruction so that all the issues, however complex, can be addressed through peaceful means.”

Brahimi was to meet Saturday with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem. A meeting is also planned with President Bashar al-Assad, at a date yet to be decided.

The Syrian government has said it is willing to consider Brahimi’s truce proposal.

The 19-month-old war in Syria has claimed more than 34,000 lives.