Syria will accept Algerian as go-between

2012-08-14 22:44

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.


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.

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-08-15 01:55

    News 24, I am tired of: A - your app crashing all the time B - you deleting comments posted C - adverts poping up all the time I will make a point not to ever buy anything from these advertisers.

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-15 04:43

    . The Syrian illegitimate regime has no say in Syria's future. It is a terrorist organisation, and the ones responsible for crimes against humanity, should be brought to justice.

  • nasser.solomon - 2012-08-15 05:48

    The Syrian people should defend their country from the Saudi sponsored terrorists.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-15 06:28

      Peanut, This is just some silly radical propaganda!! What is soo difficult to understand, that the Syrians, want the same, the majority of South Africans, demanded from their minority regime!!

      imtiaz.osman.5 - 2012-08-15 06:54

      Anthony why don't u feel the same about the bahraini people. You and fred have a total opposite view against the violence and torture that the majority of bahraini citizen go through by their unelected regime for 40 years that was put into power by the united kindom.I get it now because the syrian regime was not put there by UK,USA or Israel

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-15 07:44

      Imitaz No, you don't get it!!! I have never said, the population of Bahrain, should not have the freedom, to choose their own leaders, and I am quite sure, in time to come, they will also have what most people in this world desire. But at present , the focus is on Syria, as there a terrorist regime wants to holds onto power with an unimaginable brutality. To my recollection, the last Bahrain opposition member who died while protesting, was in March, a few days before the Bahrain GP. Since than in Syria another SEVEN THOUSAND , mainly unarmed civilians have been killed , by mainly assad's terrorist forces. THAT is the difference!!!!!! And no doubt, if this assad thug, would have been toppled by now, Bahrain would be closer to their freedom !!!

      dylan.sciarappa - 2012-08-15 09:03

      I'd love to see what the Bahraini or Saudi govt would do if there were armed insurgents fighting govt forces in their countries? No doubt the western media would either ignore it or they would paint an entirely different picture.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-15 10:10

      Dylan, ""WHAT IF"" , in politics is DUMB AND STUPID !!

      dayaan.deskay - 2012-08-15 10:49

      @Imtiaz people such as Anthony and Fred are so totally brainwashed and blinded by the TERRORIST REGIME in Israel that punishes an Israeli soldier with 45 days in prison for murdering 2 innocent defenseless Palestinian woman, that they do not see the atrocities committed by Israel, USA, Britain and there proxies the Bahraini and Saudi governments just as they never spoke up against what Mubarak and others were or are doing since it suits the Israeli, USA and British regimes that these people are oppressed. But please do speak out and make a lot of noise when regimes that are not kowtowing to the regimes of Israel, USA or Britain then all hell are let loose, it is a complete waist of good energy to debate these individuals since the regimes in Israel, USA and Britain can do nothing wrong in their eyes.

      boom.baracus - 2012-08-15 11:25

      Dayaan what does this story or Anthony's comments have to do with Israel? Why don't you just give it a break sometimes and look at what's happening in arab countries instead of complaining about rubbish. Israel is not a terrorist state. There is only one side that DELIBERATELY and INTENTIONALLY targets civilians, and that is the palestinians. But never mind that, no-one here has a problem with Bahrain and Saudi Arabian civilians demanding democracy and I am sure everyone here would support the people and condemn attacks against the people there. But really, to say that what is going on in Syria should not be commented on and focusing on Israel is just a very poor excuse. Are you trying to say we should not mind the 12,000 civilians murdered in Syria?

      boom.baracus - 2012-08-15 11:28

      Also Imtiaz, your suggestion is absolutely ridiculous. Are you seriously suggesting that the governments of barain, egypt or saudi arabia were put there by Israel? Really?????

      dayaan.deskay - 2012-08-15 12:43

      @Boom I condemn violence on all sides of the spectrum irrespective of who is doing what. The point i am making is that people such as Anthony and Fred are very much skewed as far as there sight is concerned and blinded to the atrocities of regimes that do these things at the behest of the USA, Israeli, UK axis. WHERE were they and where are their voices when the likes of Mubarak and others including the Saudi and Bahraini regime are committing atrocities. WHERE are and were they when an Israeli soldier got 45 days in prison for the murder of 2 innocent woman a few days ago, THEY ARE TOTALLY SILENT. Atrocities on both ends of the spectrum should be condemned, silence = acceptance.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-08-15 14:16

      Defeaning silence on Chinese occupation of Tibet . Atrocities in Nigeria , Sudan , Darfur , Uganda , Somalia , Pakistan , Afganistan , DRC , Liberia , ect. Silence does not equal acceptance. If it does for you then your 'guilt' is far more stark .By all means look up state responces on the various events during the uprisings , there are a few websites that post these up you might be surprised (condemning violence and calling for reform) . This ridiculous assumption that any of these regimes are puppets of the west is simply illogical , these autocratic regimes/leaders are by definition power gluttons so capitulating to foreign influence is a tough pill to swallow especially to commit atrocities against their own people , what would motivate them when they already filthy rich and in complete political control other than revolution and threats to their power (which is what we seeing). Why would the US ,UK or Isreal call on foreign powers to commit violent acts against their people ? Its total fabrication with the only intent of slander , manipulation and defamation using political rhetoric as a veil for racism , bigatory and pulpit conspiracies. Fabricated assertions are false foundations for calling others blind and reeks of self-rightous, self-indulgent hypocracy .

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-15 14:20

      Dayaan, You presume too much !!! And why don't YOU become the example on these sites, and be 'even handed' WHERE is your condemnation of these unspeakable atrocities committed by these assad MONSTERS ???????????????????????????????????

      dayaan.deskay - 2012-08-15 14:46

      TO ALL THOSE THAT CAN'T READ WHAT I SAID HERE IS A REPEAT. I CONDEMN ALL ATROCITIES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE SPECTRUM. When atrocities are committed by people that are friends of the USA ISRAELI UK axis then we don't find the vociferous condemnation from the likes of certain people that are totally blinded by the propaganda that are spewed out by the USA ISRAELI UK axis. All atrocities must be condemned and one should not be selective as certain people that post here are. If we remain silent then the old saying: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." will certainly be applicable Some thing else to think about Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit (Thus, silence gives consent; he ought to have spoken when he was able to). "The maxim is "Qui tacet consentire": the maxim of the law is "Silence gives consent". If therefore you wish to construe what my silence betokened, you must construe that I consented." —Sir Thomas More in "A Man For All Seasons"

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-08-15 15:28

      I think its fairly implicit that atrocities anywhere are condemned by all ,barring sociopaths and psychopaths and why people refer to it as an atrocity. I'd like to know what atrocities by so called friends of the US/UK you would be refering to ,i don't think they haven't been condemned (if you refering to Bahrain)and the position of democratic reform has been constant. There is however a very strong difference in the humanitarian situation in Syria (latest est 23000 dead)which does deserve the strong condemnations they are receiving on both sides. Other than that the argument is you want to label the US/UK as complicit without evidence. I just find it fairly strange that we know what the estabished totalitarian , hereditory fascist government of Syria is doing and people jump to his defence on the basis of unfounded accusations of other governments. You see people doing this , defending genocidal war lords because they are convinced the US is a empire. This potential threat built up often by state media (not a propaganda tool)is so coercive they'll put up with ridiculous prelonged atrocitites by their unelected leaders .

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-15 16:04

      Israel was created in 1948 from 52% of the land formerly occupied by the Jewish and Palestinian people, and Palestine 43%. Most of the Israeli territory was the Negev Desert. Jerusalem fell into neither territory. Palestinians with their unelected, self-serving neighbors declared war on Israel the very next day. In the 1960's they even invaded Israel twice. Full military invasions. The result: Israel survived and pushed them back, gaining territory in the process. This is the origin of what you wrongly call "stealing land". There have been almost daily attacks by Palestinians, incited by their self-serving unelected backers. Palestinians even teach their children at Kindergarten to attack Israel, rather than be peaceful. Children. Kindergarten. From day one, and even today it's wage war on Israel. Israel defends herself. Yes going too far sometimes, which is unacceptable, but self-defense nonetheless. All that needs to happen is for Palestinians to choose peace side by side with Israel. This is more likely going forward now because the unelected dictators are being removed from power by their people one by one. They will no longer use the Palestinians for their own internal political ploys.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-15 16:29

      Dylan believes the US attacked itself on 9/11. It therefore stands to reason he would believe the Syrian uprising is fake.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-15 20:34

      Not only me, all sane people. The US trained Afghans to repel the Soviet Union's invasion of that country in the 1980's. Those trained were almost entirely members of the Northern Alliance, who were non-Jihadists. There came a point where, to be successful, this training had to involve Jihadists. A small number, including Osama Bin Laden, received assistance. The Soviets were successfully repelled. US operative (a relatively small number) left Afghanistan. In the socio-political vacuum that followed, Jihadists, with their highly oppressive and inhuman ideas, took control of key parts of the country. Girls were barred from attending school, and women were regarded as the chattel of men. In 1992 those Jihadists led by Osama Bin Laden declared war on the US and freer world because Saudi Arabia, from where Bin Laden was expelled, allowed Nato to use Saudi bases to repel Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait. The US and freer world did little about this, even when the World Trade Center in New York was bombed the first time, the US Cole was attacked, and various other attacks were carried out by Al-Quaida in Africa and the Middle East. To suggest that the US trained Al-Quaida to carry out the 9/11 attacks is ridiculous. Unfortunately I have become accustomed to reading ridiculous, uninformed ideas from you, Patrick. This is another one. Believing the US did this is like believing Soweto High School trained a chemistry student to plant a bomb in a public place.

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