News / Middle East

Envoy Brahimi Urges UN Action on Syria

FILE - UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, January 11, 2013.
FILE - UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, January 11, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Margaret Besheer
— The United Nations-Arab League envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, says he thinks about quitting every day, but has no plans to do so.  He said Friday that the Syrians need to come up with a plan to end the more than two-year crisis and urged the U.N. Security Council to take action.  

The 79-year-old veteran diplomat briefed the Security Council Friday in a closed meeting on his efforts to find a political solution, amid rumors that he was planning to step down.  Speaking to reporters afterwards, he said there is no basis to the reports.

“I haven’t resigned.  Every day I wake up, I think I should resign.  But I haven’t so far," said Brahimi.

He also dismissed media reports that said he had agreed to stay on for an additional three months.

The rumors of his impending resignation emerged recently after diplomats said he felt the Arab League’s decision to give Syria’s seat to the opposition undermined his role as a mediator.

Brahimi said he has had extensive discussions with both the Syrian government and the opposition, as well as with international players the United States and Russia, on finding a way out of the conflict.

 “With the Syrians I got nowhere," he said. " With the Security Council - the Americans and the Russians - we made some progress, but it was far too little.”
He said it is up to the Syrians to come up with their own plan to end the fighting, but also urged the Security Council to use their leverage.

“And if they really believe they are in charge of looking after peace and security, there is no time for them to lose to really take this question more seriously than they have until now," said Brahimi.

The 15-nation council has been divided over the Syrian crisis, with Western powers supporting the opposition and Russia backing the government, leaving the U.N.’s most powerful organ in a deadlock and unable to contain the crisis.

On Monday, Arab League chief Nabil ElAraby is due at U.N. headquarters to meet with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.  Ban said earlier this week it would give himself, Brahimi and ElAraby an opportunity to all meet.

The United Nations estimates that the conflict in Syria has killed more than 70,000 people.  U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said Thursday that nearly 7 million people are in need inside the country and there are more than 1 million refugees in the region.

She warned that the security situation has left the organization dangerously close to suspending some critical aid operations.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid