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Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 10:33
Frustrated Syria mediator to step down
By Reuters

 Frustrated Syria mediator to step down
UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi pauses during a news conference at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva in this January 27, 2014 file photograph. (Photo / Reuters)

UNITED NATIONS - Syria mediator Lakhdar Brahimi will step down on May 31, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday, blaming an international deadlock over how to end the country's three-year civil war for hampering a bid to broker peace.

International and regional powers have backed opposing sides in the civil war that has so far killed at least 150,000 people, with Russia and Iran supporting President Bashar al-Assad and Western powers and Gulf Arab states largely backing the rebels.

Brahimi had long threatened to quit, just as his predecessor - former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan - did in 2012. Annan resigned after six months as the UN and Arab League joint special representative on Syria, slamming the UN Security Council for failing to unite behind efforts to end the fighting.

Brahimi, a veteran Algerian diplomat, briefed the 15-member Security Council for the final time on Tuesday.

"I go with a heavy heart because so little was achieved," he told the closed-door session of the council, according to the his statement which was obtained by Reuters. "I once again, humbly apologize to the Syrian people."

He left "a few ideas" with Ban and the Security Council - focus on getting more aid into Syria, reduce and end the violence, end the flow of arms into Syria and help form an executive to lead Syria's transition by organizing a national dialogue, conference, constitutional review and elections.

Ban said he would work on finding someone to replace Brahimi. There are several possible candidates, diplomatic sources have said, among them former Tunisian Foreign Minister Kamel Morjane.

 
 
 
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