Meanwhile, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Jakob Kellenberger, is meeting top Syrian officials in Damascus to try to get them to allow aid workers better access to those who have been wounded or displaced by the conflict.
Mr. Kellenberger will also press the Syrian authorities to implement a daily two-hour ceasefire, as stipulated in the peace plan proposed by the UN and Arab League envoy, Kofi Annan.
On Monday, Mr. Annan urged the UN Security council to set a deadline of 10 April for the plan to come into force. Syria has agreed to the deadline.
When Bashar became president following his father's death in 2000, Rifaat criticized the succession as a "real farce and an unconstitutional piece of theatre". He considered himself the legitimate successor.
|Support For Assad|
Rifaat insisted that the Assad family was still "pretty much accepted by the Syrian people.
|chairwoman Susan Rice|
"We hope that the Syrian authorities will implement fully the commitments that they have made without any conditions," said US permanent representative and Security Council chairwoman Susan Rice. "And should they do so, we will expect the opposition to follow suit within 48 hours."
|Free Syrian Army|
On Sunday, Gulf Arab states agreed to pay the salaries and other costs of the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA). The money will be distributed through the main opposition coalition, the Syrian National Council (SNC).