News / Middle East

    UN Special Envoy to Syria Resigns

    FILE - U.N. mediator for Syria Lakdar Brahimi gestures during a press briefing at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, January 2014.
    FILE - U.N. mediator for Syria Lakdar Brahimi gestures during a press briefing at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, January 2014.
    Margaret Besheer
    The United Nations and Arab League special envoy to Syria, Lakdar Brahimi, has resigned.

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he accepted Brahimi's resignation, effective May 31, after discussing it with Nabil ElAraby, head of the Arab League.

    The former Algerian foreign minister has worked for nearly two years to find a diplomatic solution to end three years of war in Syria, and his resignation had been anticipated for some time.

    Brahimi gave his final briefing to the U.N. Security Council after Ban announced the resignation.

    “I have suggested seven issues that need to be considered, and that if they are acted upon they will lead to a serious process for peace," said Brahimi. "[The] Geneva Communique is still and will continue to be at the center of things, but there are quite a number of things that need to be done.”

    No successor has been named to replace the elder statesman, who recently said that if elections take place in Syria on June 3, his job — to negotiate a political settlement and establish a transitional governing body — would be pointless.

    Appointed envoy in August 2012, at which point the United Nations said an estimated 20,000 people had died in the conflict, Brahimi said he is “very sad” to leave Syria still mired in crisis, but that he believes it will be resolved.

    In the two years he has worked to find a political solution, activists estimate the death toll has skyrocketed to 150,000 people.

    The outgoing envoy welcomed reports that Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister has invited his Iranian counterpart to Riyadh for meetings.

    Brahimi also noted that Iran has suggested a four-point plan for Syria that includes a cease-fire, national unity government; elections and a constitutional review that would limit the president’s powers. He said the proposal is “interesting” and could be considered.

    Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin commended Brahimi for his efforts, saying he worked hard for a breakthrough, but it did not happen.

    “But we believe that the show must go on, and that every effort must continue to be exerted in order to try to set the process of finding a political solution to the Syrian crisis in motion,” Churkin said.

    Ban called Brahimi "one of the world's most brilliant diplomats" and said "he has faced almost impossible odds, with a Syrian nation, Middle Eastern region and wider international community that have been hopelessly divided in their approaches to ending the conflict."

    Brahimi, 80, has served as a U.N. special advisor on several issues during the past two decades, including serving as the special representative in Afghanistan from October 2001 to December 2004. He replaced former U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan, who held the envoy post for six months and then quit, blaming the Security Council impasse for blocking his peace efforts.

    Several names have been floated as possible successors to Brahimi, among them former Tunisian Foreign Minister Kamel Morjane, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and U.N. diplomat Michael Williams.

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
    May 14, 2014 12:51 AM
    The Syria dilemma is long done deal. The West plus Obama's US lost their credibility. Syrian government continues to use chemical weapon relentlessly against its own civilians while other religious fanatics group joined the conflict and helped fuel the killing innocent further with the blessing of the west.

    by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
    May 13, 2014 10:27 PM
    Koffi Anan was very truthful. He new the impossible task facing him as a UN Special Envoy in Syria. So he quit his job in a month. But Lakdar Brahimi enjoyed the same job for two years increasing the death toll from 20,000 to more than 150,000 and adding millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan and other countries and adding millions as Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) within Syria. Who is the next UN Special Envoy for Syria to prolong the death, destruction and agony of Syrian people? Dumping all the responsibility for peace in Syria is the travesty of the politicians like US.President Obama and other head of states in Europe and Middle East. Peace in Syrian cannot be accomplished unless these countries and UN can challenge the Syrian dictator Assad militarily. Inaction is equivalent to support of the dictator and UN has the full responsiblity for the inaction and the ongoing carnage in Syria.

    by: abel ogah from: OJU Nigeria
    May 13, 2014 5:45 PM
    Who is next to be appointed?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Ugandai
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    February 12, 2016 9:29 PM
    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video Refugees in Kenya Vie to Compete in Rio Olympics

    In Kenya, refugees from other African nations are training at a special camp and competing for a limited number of slots in this year's Rio Olympics under the flag of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Ngong, this is a first in Olympic history.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.