Brahimi to succeed Annan in Syria


Lakhdar Brahimi, a former Algerian foreign minister and longtime UN diplomat known as a strong-willed, independent broker, has agreed to succeed former Secretary-General Kofi Annan as peace envoy to Syria, the United Nations said Friday.
Brahimi, who served as a UN envoy in Afghanistan and Iraq, formally accepted the post and will resume efforts for a diplomatic solution to Syria’s crisis, said Eduardo del Buey, deputy spokesman for Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
“The violence and the suffering in Syria must come to an end,” del Buey said. “The Secretary-General appreciates 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.”
Annan announced earlier this month that he would resign on Aug. 31 as joint UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, after failing to broker a cease-fire as the country descended into civil war. The UN says at least 18,000 people have been killed since March 2011.
In Washington, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Brahimi was a “capable and seasoned diplomat.” He said the US was awaiting more information about Brahimi’s mandate from the United Nations.