Assad appears in public as opposition blasts new UN envoy
The new international mediator for the Syrian crisis, Lakhdar Brahimi, should apologize to the Syrian people for saying he did not know if the time had come to demand the departure of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said on Sunday the opposition.
"The Syrian revolutionary people were shocked and appalled by the words of Brahimi," said a statement by the Syrian National Council (SNC), the main Syrian opposition coalition. Asked by Reuters on the need for a departure by Bashar al-Assad, Brahimi has refused to take a position, saying: "It is too early for me to take a position on this issue. I do not know enough about what is happening."
"We call on the international envoy - who did not consult any of the Syrian (opposition bodies) ahead of his mission - to apologize for our people as this position is unacceptable," said SNC.
According to opposition, his words provide the Syrian regime "the right of killing tens of thousands of Syrians."
Brahimi's appointment Friday by the UN Security Council was welcomed by the West and the allies of Syria - Russia and China. He replaces Kofi Annan who had resigned.
Meanwhile, for the first time since the deadly attack on members of his inner circle just over four weeks ago, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has appeared in public outside his palace. The Syrian state television showed on Sunday Assad praying in a mosque in the capital, Damascus.