UN envoy says Syrian collapse threatens region

12:15 PM, Dec 29, 2012   |    comments
A Muslim protester holds a placard reading "Save Syria" as he marches to the Syrian embassy in Kuala Lumpur
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MOSCOW (AP) -- The United Nations envoy for the Syria crisis is warning that further deterioration of conditions in the country could send an unbearable stream of refugees into neighboring countries.

Speaking Saturday after meeting in Moscow with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Lakhdar Braihmi said "if you have a panic in Damascus and if you have 1 million people leaving Damascus in a panic, they can go to only two places - Lebanon and Jordan. Neither Lebanon or Jordan can support without breaking 500,000 refugees."

Brahimi said that "If the only alternative is really hell or a political process, then we have got all of us to work ceaselessly for a political process."

Neither official gave indication of significant progress toward resolving the 21-month-old conflict in which an estimated 40,000 people have died.

Associated Press

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