Syria is gripped by a serious crisis which is getting worse each day, UN and Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said on Thursday upon his arrival in Damascus for talks with government representatives and the opposition.
This is Mr. Brahimi’s first visit to Syria since his appointment earlier this month. A meeting with President Bashar Assad is scheduled for Friday.
Lakhdar Brahimi describes his mission as “very difficult” but he still hopes for a peaceful resolution of the long-running conflict.
The UN and Arab League envoy has met the foreign minister in war-torn Damascus.
He will meet opposition groups and President Bashar al-Assad on Friday.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem told the peace envoy that he was committed to supporting his mission, Mr Brahimi's spokesperson said.
Thousands of people have been killed in Syria since the uprising against President Assad began in March 2011.
The UN and Arab League's envoy also met Mohammed Reza Shibani, the Iranian ambassador to Syria, on Thursday. The Iranian government has been a staunch supporter of Mr Assad.
Also on Thursday, Syrian government forces carried out air strikes on Syria's commercial capital, Aleppo, activists reported.
Clashes have been reported in the western and southern parts of the city, as well as in several parts of Damascus.
When he took over the post, Mr Brahimi said bringing peace to Syria would be "nearly impossible". He has described the bloodshed there as "staggering" and the destruction as "catastrophic".
He was appointed to the role in August after Kofi Annan's peace plan for Syria failed to affect the crisis.