Syria agrees to ceasefire during Eid holiday: Brahimi
International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said on Wednesday the Syrian government has agreed to a ceasefire during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha and that Damascus would announce the decision shortly.
The holiday starts on Thursday and lasts three or four days. Brahimi, a mediator appointed by the United Nations and Arab League, said some Syrian opposition groups he had been in contact with had also agreed to a truce in principle.
"After the visit I made to Damascus, there is agreement from the Syrian government for a ceasefire during the Eid," Brahimi told a news conference at the Cairo-based League.
He did not give a precise time period for the ceasefire but said Damascus would announce its agreement on Wednesday or Thursday. "Other factions in Syria that we were able to contact, heads of fighting groups, most of them also agree on the principle of the ceasefire," he added.
1. From a couple of days ago: BBC - Syria peacekeeping contingency plan mulled at UN
The UN is making contingency plans for a peacekeeping force in Syria in the event of a ceasefire there. The UN has called for a truce for the festival of Eid al-Adha, which begins on Friday.
The UN Security Council, which is deeply divided on Syria, would have to approve any peacekeeping force. Western and Arab countries have pushed for UN action on Syria, but their resolutions have been vetoed by Russia and China.
The head of UN peacekeeping, Herve Ladsous, said his department was considering options in the event of a ceasefire or political deal in Syria. "I would confirm that, of course, we are giving a lot of thought to what would happen if and when a political solution or at least a ceasefire would emerge," he told reporters at the UN.
However, the BBC's Barbara Plett at the UN says so far the prospects of achieving even a temporary truce for the forthcoming Muslim holiday appear slim.