Veteran diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi will be the new Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and League of Arab States for the crisis in Syria, taking over the peace-facilitation role played over the past several months by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, a spokesperson for the world organization said Saturday.
Mr. Brahimi is expected to assume his duties following the expiration of Mr. Annan’s mandate on 31 August 2012. “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,” a UN spokesperson said at a media briefing at UN Headquarters in New York.
He added that both Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and his counterpart at the League of Arab States, Nabil El Araby, were pleased to make the announcement of the appointment. “Diplomacy to promote a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Syria remains a top priority for the United Nations,” the spokesperson said. “More fighting and militarization will only exacerbate the suffering and make more difficult the path to a peaceful resolution of the crisis which would lead to a political transition in accordance with the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.”
The President of the General Assembly, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, also welcomed Mr. Brahimi’s appointment. According to a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Al-Nasser thanked Mr. Brahimi for accepting to undertake what he called “a crucial assignment” aimed at ending the Syrian violence. “Mr. Brahimi brings to this difficult task his well-known experience, credibility and diligence,” the statement said. “President Al-Nasser wishes him success in his endeavours.”
Mr. Annan was appointed Joint Special Envoy for the crisis in Syria in late February to provide good offices on behalf of the UN and Arab League, with the aim of bringing an end to all violence and human rights violations in Syria, and promoting a peaceful solution to the conflict.