The United Nations has announced that Lakhdar Brahimi, a former Algerian foreign minister and a veteran UN diplomat, will replace Kofi Annan as the new UN-Arab League special envoy to Syria. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced the decision in a statement issued on Friday. "The secretary general appreciates Mr. Brahimi's willingness to bring his considerable talents and experience to this crucial task for which he will need, and rightly expects, the strong, clear and unified support of the international community, including the Security Council," the statement said.
The 78-year-old former UN envoy to Iraq and Afghanistan has formally accepted the appointment and is due to arrive in New York “soon” to discuss plans for the unrest in Syria, said Eduardo del Buey, deputy spokesman for Ban Ki-moon.The appointment was announced a day after the UN decided to terminate its observer mission in Syria, which was part of Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan. On August 2, Annan announced that he had decided to step down from the post at the end of the month due to lack of support at the UN Security Council and the increasing militarization of the conflict in Syria. The Syrian Foreign Ministry expressed regret over the resignation and said the country is still committed to the peace plan negotiated by Annan. MHB/MA