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.
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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid