BERNE - International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi is due to meet Syrian President Bashar Assad during his upcoming visit to Syria, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday.

The UN chief reiterated his call for the Security Council to take action on Syria and for world powers to use their influence over the two warring sides to halt the 17 months of violence in which more than 20,000 have been killed.

"Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi is going soon to have meetings with Syrian authorities, including President Assad," Ban told a news conference in the Swiss capital Berne.

Brahimi said on Monday he would make his first visit to Damascus since taking the post in a few days.

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