Brahimi extends Syria peace mission: diplomat

International Syria peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has agreed to extend his mission for at least six months, diplomats said Wednesday.

Brahimi's first six-month contract with the United Nations and Arab League, in place of Kofi Annan, ends on Friday.

"Brahimi has agreed a six month extension," a UN diplomat said on condition of anonymity. "He clearly feels that there is some life in his mission," added a second diplomat confirming the deal.

While the death toll from the 23-month-old conflict has shot above 70,000, the envoy's efforts have been given new urgency with an offer by the head of Syria's opposition coalition to hold talks with representatives of President Bashar al-Assad's government.