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Middle east

UN Syria envoy Brahimi resigns

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-05-13

International Syria mediator Lakhdar Brahimi will step down from the role on May 31, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday.

For more than a year, Brahimi has made no secret that he is contemplating stepping down from the post as the United Nations and Arab League joint special representative on Syria.

The veteran Algerian diplomat told reporters a year ago in New York that he thought about resigning every day.

Brahimi has organised two rounds of negotiations in Geneva between Assad's government and members of the opposition seeking to oust him.

While there were no breakthroughs at those talks, diplomats and UN officials said that Brahimi had wanted to continue the Geneva process to find a negotiated solution that would end the fighting, launch a political transition and begin the process of reconciliation between the supporters and opponents of President Bashar al-Assad.

Brahimi tried to restart Syria talks

Brahimi had been working behind the scenes to restart the Geneva negotiations but that effort was all but doomed when Assad's government announced that elections would be held on June 3. The Geneva talks were intended lead to a transitional government.

Ban said Brahimi “faced almost impossible odds with the Syrian nation, Middle Eastern region, and ... international community that have been hopelessly divided in their approaches to ending the conflict.''

“He has persevered with great patience and skill, I regret that the parties, especially the government, have proven so reluctant to take advantage of that opportunity to end the country's profound misery,'' Ban said.

Brahimi is due to brief the UN Security Council later Tuesday.

The Syrian revolution

Earlier this week, troops loyal to Assad took full control of Homs following a ceasefire agreement with the rebels that allowed more than 2,000 opposition fighters to leave the city, which had been dubbed the “capital of Syrian revolution.''

The Syrian conflict started as largely peaceful protests against Assad's rule in 2011, but it turned into a civil war after some opposition supporters took up arms to fight a brutal government crackdown.

More than 150,000 have been killed in the fighting, activists report.



Date created : 2014-05-13


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