Syria: New envoy to meet Assad

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The Independent Online

International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi is due to meet the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, during a visit to Syria, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said yesterday.

Mr Brahimi said on Monday that he would make his first visit to Damascus in a few days and hoped to meet President Assad, but was not sure if it would happen.

The news came as the UN refugee agency said the number of Syrian refugees seeking its help had reached 253,106 people – though officials acknowledge the real number was likely to be far higher since tens of thousands were believed to have not yet registered with authorities.

The highest numbers are in Jordan, which is hosting 85,197.