August 10, 2012 - 11:12 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi is expected to replace Kofi Annan as the UN-Arab League joint special envoy for Syria barring a last-minute change, diplomats said on Thursday, August 9.
The former Algerian foreign minister, who has a long history as a diplomatic troubleshooter, will have his work cut out for him in Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad is using his security forces to try to crush a 17-month-old pro-democracy rebellion.
Annan, a former UN secretary-general and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, said last week he would step down as the special envoy because he was unable to do his job with the UN Security Council hopelessly deadlocked over Syria.
Brahimi's appointment could be announced as early as next week but the diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there are sometimes last-minute changes if a key government has concerns about the choice or the candidate has misgivings.
Brahimi, 78, has served as a UN special envoy in a series of challenging circumstances, including in Iraq after the U.S. invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, in Afghanistan both before and after the end of Taliban rule and in South Africa as it emerged from the apartheid era.
Syria, however, may present an unusually vexing assignment, in part because international action to try to end the violence has been stymied by the disagreements between the five veto-holding permanent members of the UN Security Council, according to Reuters.