Former envoy to Afghanistan to replace Annan as UN mediator to Syria

Sources told Reuters that Brahimi accepted the post with a new title. He did not want to be seen as a replacement for Annan, whose six-point plan to negotiate a ceasefire ended with no results to show.

ADVERTISEMENT
Annan’s title was U.N. special envoy to Syria. Brahimi was named U.N. special representative. A spokesman for the U.N. said the change is only a difference of “semantics.”

Brahimi, an Algerian diplomat, will fill an opening when Annan resigned his post in early August after criticizing the U.N. Security Council for pointing fingers while the Syrian conflict escalated.


Brahimi, an Algerian diplomat, will fill the position left open after Annan resigned his post in early August. Annan had criticizing the U.N. Security Council for pointing fingers while the Syrian conflict escalated.


“Without serious, purposeful and united international pressure ... it is impossible for me or anyone to compel the Syrian government in the first place and also the opposition to take the steps necessary to begin a political process,” Annan said when announcing his resignation.


Brahimi is part of The Elders, a group whose high-profile international members aim to influence world diplomacy. It includes members such as Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter and Nelson Mandela.


In a post on The Elders website last week, Brahimi called on the United Nations to ensure a political transition in the country as soon as possible.


“Syrians must come together as a nation in the quest for a new formula,” Brahimi wrote. “This is the only way to ensure that all Syrians can live together peacefully, in a society not based on fear of reprisal, but on tolerance. In the meantime, the U.N. Security Council and regional states must unite to ensure that a political transition can take place as soon as possible.


“Millions of Syrians are clamoring for peace. World leaders cannot remain divided any longer, over and above their cries.”


Brahimi was named the U.N. special representative to Afghanistan in 2001. He remained at the post until 2004. He also served as U.N. special envoy to Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein.


The United Nations announced that a liaisons office would be attached to the envoy’s mission as part of smaller U.N. presence in Syria after the Security Council decided Thursday to let its peacekeeping mission expire.


Updated at 4:37 p.m.