Syria will accept Algerian as go-between

2012-08-14 22:44
Diplomats say former Algerian foreign affairs minister Lakhdar Brahimi is a strong candidate to replace former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan as peace envoy to Syria. (Luca Bruno, AP File)

Diplomats say former Algerian foreign affairs minister Lakhdar Brahimi is a strong candidate to replace former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan as peace envoy to Syria. (Luca Bruno, AP File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Geneva - The Syrian government has consented to the idea of Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi replacing Kofi Annan as the UN-Arab League mediator in the Syria conflict, though Brahimi has yet to accept or reject the post, Annan's spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Annan, a former UN secretary-general and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, announced he would step down on 31 August because he was not able to carry out his job with the UN Security Council's veto powers hopelessly divided and deadlocked.

Annan's spokesperson Ahmad Fawzi told Reuters that the Syrian government would accept Brahimi as Annan's replacement, though the veteran Algerian diplomat "hasn't said yes or no".

Fawzi's comments appeared to confirm what diplomats told Reuters last week - that Brahimi was tipped to replace Annan.

Council diplomats told Reuters that Brahimi expressed reservations about the job, telling UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby that he was concerned about the deadlock on the Security Council and wanted "strong support" from the 15-nation body.

Brahimi issued a public statement last week saying the council and regional states "must unite to ensure that a political transition can take place as soon as possible".

Russia, with the aid of China, has vetoed three resolutions criticizing and threatening sanctions against Syrian President Bashar Assad's government for its 17-month attempt to crush an increasingly militant opposition with military force, heavy weapons and aerial assaults.

The United States, which has stepped up non-lethal support to the rebels, saw little point in replacing Annan, given Russia's staunch opposition to sanctions, diplomats said. Qatar and Saudi Arabia are arming the rebels, diplomats say, and voiced little support for Annan's peace efforts.

Moribund plan

UN officials said Ban hoped to make an announcement about Annan's successor in the coming days, whether or not it would be Brahimi who takes over.

Brahimi, 78, has served as a UN special envoy in a series of challenging circumstances, including in Iraq after the US invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein; in Afghanistan both before and after the end of Taliban rule; and in South Africa as it emerged from the apartheid era.

Other candidates, diplomats said, include former European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana of Spain, former Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, former UN special envoy to Libya and Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdelilah al-Khatib and Italian-Swedish diplomat Staffan de Mistura.

Whoever replaces Annan will inherit his moribund six-point peace plan, which both the rebels and government had initially embraced but is now in tatters, with the violence escalating dramatically in recent weeks as the government steps up its onslaught to wipe out rebel territorial gains.

The UN Security Council is expected to allow the mandate of a UN observer mission in Syria to expire on Sunday because violence there has not receded enough to allow it to function. Russia has called for the monitors to remain in Syria but the United States has made its opposition clear.

The Security Council said last month it would only renew the mandate of the mission, which was deployed in April to monitor a truce that never took hold, if the world body confirmed a "cessation of the use of heavy weapons and a reduction in the level of violence by all sides sufficient" for it to operate.

Expire

In an 10 August letter to the Security Council Ban said this has "not been achieved" and the mission, known as UNSMIS, "has not been able to exercise its key functions of monitoring the cessation of violence." The mandate expires 19 August.

The mission's initial 300 unarmed observers, whose role has been to monitor a failed April 12 ceasefire, suspended their activity on 16 June because of increased risk from rising violence. There are also over 70 civilian staff working on a political solution and monitoring human rights violations.

The Security Council is due to be briefed on Syria on Thursday and diplomats said that if UNSMIS is allowed to expire, Ban would not need a new resolution from the deadlocked Security Council in order to maintain a political and humanitarian presence in the country.

"The United Nations humanitarian agencies will remain active, even if the mandate of UNSMIS expires," Ban said, adding that it was vital for world body to maintain some kind of presence in Syria beyond the aid work.

Read more on:    arab league  |  un  |  kofi annan  |  lakhdar brahimi  |  algeria  |  syria  |  syria conflct
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
19 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Any chance to explore the distant shores of things yet to be found will fascinate you. The challenge is dealing with the issues...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.