UNITED NATIONS - International Syria mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said on Thursday he could not move forward with a peace plan unless it was backed by a UN Security Council resolution and he warned that a ceasefire would only hold if it was overseen by a peacekeeping mission.
A peaceful solution to the 20-month conflict could only be initiated by the Security Council, Brahimi told the 15-member body, which has been deadlocked on whether to take stronger action against Syrian President Bashir Assad.
"I have been challenged to produce a plan. I think that we now have the elements of a plan, but these elements cannot be put together until this council has come together and is ready to adopt a resolution that will be the basis for a political process (in Syria)," Brahimi told reporters after his briefing.
The United States and European council members blame Russia, a staunch ally and key arms supplier for Assad's government, and China for the council's inaction on the conflict. Moscow and Beijing have vetoed three resolutions condemning Assad and reject the idea of sanctioning his government.
"No doubt what is very, very urgently needed is a ceasefire that can hold ... a ceasefire will not hold unless it is very, very strongly observed, and that, I believe, will require a peacekeeping mission," Brahimi said.
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