Ban Ki-moon discussing Kofi successor

2012-08-02 17:33
Kofi Annan, Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League for Syria, at the European headquarters of the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland. (Martial Trezzini, AP/Keystone)

Kofi Annan, Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League for Syria, at the European headquarters of the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland. (Martial Trezzini, AP/Keystone)

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New York - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday he was consulting with the Arab League to find a successor to Syria envoy Kofi Annan, whose resignation will take effect 31 August.

Ban said he intended to find promptly a successor who can "carry on this crucial peacemaking effort".

"I remain convinced that yet more bloodshed is not the answer," Ban said. "Each day of it will only make the solution more difficult while bringing deeper suffering to the country and greater peril to the region."

Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters that he "regrets" Annan's resignation. But he said the envoy has another month in his mandate and he hoped that he could use "effectively the remaining time to pursue his efforts to stop the bloodshed in Syria".

Kofi Annan blamed "finger pointing and name calling" within the UN Security Council among the reasons for his decision on Thursday to quit as the UN-Arab League Joint Special Envoy for Syria.

"The world is full of crazy people like me. So don't be surprised if Secretary General Ban Ki-moon can find someone who can do a better job than me," Annan said when asked if he thought someone else would be named to succeed him.

"There may be other plans, other approaches that may work quite effectively," he said, adding that at this stage the focus should still be on a political transition which means "President [Bashar] Assad will have to leave sooner or later".

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