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Syrian President Assad asks BRICS leaders for help ending war

Embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is asking BRICS for help ending that country’s two-year civil war.

Assad appeals BRICS SyriaEnlarge
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad attends the closing session of the Arab summit in Beirut on March 28, 2002. (AFP/Getty/AFP/Getty Images)

Embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is asking the BRICS forum for help ending the Middle Eastern country’s two-year civil war.

Assad sent a letter to leaders at an economic summit which brings together Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa and is being held this week in Durban.

Assad asked the leaders to “work for an immediate cessation of violence that would guarantee the success of the political solution,” state media reported.

“This requires a clear international will to dry up the sources of terrorism and stop its funding and arming,” Assad’s letter said.

The letter comes days after the Arab League officially welcomed the Syrian opposition to take Syria's seat, which had been empty since 2011.

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The Arab League is also meeting this week in Doha, Qatar. The two-day forum featured leadership from the rebels trying to wrest power from Assad, Al Jazeera reported.

On Tuesday, Syrian National Coalition president Moaz al-Khatib took Syria’s seat among 21 other leaders at the meeting.

According to Al Jazeera, Khatib asked for more support from Arab and western powers, asking those at the meeting “Is it acceptable to tolerate state terrorism for two years?”

Russia has expressed concern about allowing the SNC into the Arab League, BBC said.

The Russians and Chinese have long blocked United Nations efforts to intervene in Syria’s bloody crisis, which has killed more than 70,000 and displaced millions.

Russia is also a longstanding Syrian ally and has provided weapons to the Middle Eastern nation.

“In terms of international law, the decisions taken by the Arab League in respect of Syria are illegal and void because the government of the Syrian Arab Republic was and will remain the legitimate representative of the UN member state,” a statement from Russia’s foreign ministry said, according to BBC.

More from GlobalPost: Syrian opposition takes seat at Arab League table

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/syria/130327/syrian-president-bashar-assad-asks-brics-leaders-help