World

UN envoy calls for truce in Syria

BEIRUT — Turkey and Germany on Friday threw their weight behind calls for a Syrian cease-fire during a Muslim holiday next week as the international envoy for the conflict arrived in Damascus to push for the plan.

The effort has taken on urgency after activists in recent days reported some of the heaviest air bombardments by President Bashar Assad’s military against rebel-held areas.

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Lakhdar Brahimi, the joint UN-Arab League envoy, was expected to meet Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem on Saturday.

Brahimi has called for a truce by both sides in the civil war during the four-day Eid al-Adha holiday that begins next Friday. He told reporters upon his arrival in the Syrian capital that he would discuss the proposed cease-fire with Syrian officials.

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The secretaries general of the UN and the Arab League called on both the Syrian government and the rebels to heed Brahimi’s appeal, while Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu also said both sides should end hostilities ‘‘at least’’ through Eid al-Adha.

‘‘It is especially important for the Syrian regime, which has launched bombs on its people with planes and helicopters, to halt these attacks immediately and without preconditions,’’ Davutoglu said.

He said the opposition must abide by the cease-fire as well.

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German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle also called for a cease-fire, saying it would be ‘‘an important humanitarian glimmer of hope for people in Syria.’’

Others who have joined the calls for peace include Assad’s allies in Iran. But both sides of the conflict have flouted previous cease-fires.

Meanwhile, activists reported more regime airstrikes Friday in the northern Idlib Province. There were no details on casualties.

Associated Press

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