Posted: Sep 1, 2012 10:25 AM
Updated: Sep 1, 2012 10:27 AM
BEIRUT (AP) The new U.N. envoy to Syria says President Bashar Assad's regime should realize that the need for change is both "urgent" and "necessary."
In an interview with al-Arabiya television on Saturday, Lakhdar Brahimi also told the Syrian government that it must respond to the "legitimate" demands of the Syrian people.
Brahimi's comments come on his first day as the new U.N. envoy in Syria, replacing Kofi Annan who quit after his six-point plan including an April 12 cease-fire failed to stop the bloodshed. A former Algerian foreign minister, Brahimi spoke in New York.
The Syrian conflict has its roots in mostly peaceful street protests that started in March last year. It has since morphed into a civil war, with at least 20,000 people killed so far, according to rights activists.