Inside Syria
Lakhdar Brahimi: 'Change has to take place'
The UN special envoy to Syria explains why he believes the crisis there poses a real threat to the region.
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2012 10:57

It was a bleak assessment from Lakhdar Brahimi, the new UN and Arab League envoy to Syria, after he met President Bashar al-Assad last week: The crisis in Syria is deteriorating and now poses a threat to the world.

He warned that the situation - which he termed a full-fledged civil war - is worsening and said he would consult UN members for support in developing a plan to stop the bloodshed.

Brahimi later sat down with Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf and explained in more detail, but no more optimistically, how he sees the way ahead.

"I don't think any side is winning now or any time in the future. The situation is getting worse and is a huge threat for the region. These kinds of conflicts cannot be bottled up within one country, they will invariably spill over. They already have .... Talking about reform is not the right thing to do anymore, now you have got to talk about change. And change has to be serious and profound. Change has to take place ... the earlier the better. We want to stop the civil war before it becomes unstoppable."

To discuss the points made by Brahimi Inside Syria is joined by Mahjoob Zweiri, a professor of Contemporary History of the Middle East at Qatar University.

"He [Brahimi] seems very sad. It's a black picture of the situation in Syria. After his visit to Damascus and after his visit to refugee camps in Turkey and Jordan, he became more aware of the situation and how bad it is .... I think he was surprised but at the same time he wanted to send a clear message to the public across the world, especially in the Arab world, that they have to lower their expectations."

Mahjoob Zweiri, a professor of Contemporary History of the Middle East at Qatar University


Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
Indonesia's digerati could be crucial to success in the country's upcoming presidential election.
How Brazil's football legend turned every Corinthians' match into a political meeting for democracy.
As the Pakistani army battles Taliban forces, civilians in North Waziristan face an arduous escape for relative safety.
Nepalese trade in a libido-boosting fungus is booming but experts warn over-exploitation could destroy ecosystem.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Consumption of traditional nutritional staples such as salmon, moose and bear has fallen in recent generations.
Palestinian families fear Israel's night-time air strikes, as the civilian death toll soars in the Gaza Strip.
China still uses labour camps to silence democracy activists and others it considers malcontents.
Myanmar's Karen veterans of WWII, despite being abandoned by the British, recall their service with fondness.
join our mailing list