World Bulletin / News Desk
Veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi has agreed to replace Kofi Annan as the international mediator on Syria, though he intends to take a fresh approach as the 17-month-old conflict slips deeper into civil war, U.N. sources said on Thursday
Annan, a former U.N. secretary-general and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is stepping down at the end of August after six months in the job. He said his Syria peace plan was hampered by a divided and deadlocked U.N. Security Council.
Diplomats told Reuters that Brahimi, who had been undecided for days about whether to accept the offer of the post from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, did not want to be seen as a mere replacement of Annan but wanted a reconfigured title and fresh approach to his mandate as a peace broker.
"He has agreed to take the post but with an amended title; he has new ideas about the approach to take," a U.N. source told Reuters on condition of anonymity, adding that Ban accepted that. Two Security Council diplomats confirmed the remarks.
U.N. officials said it was not clear when an official announcement would be made. Annan's title was joint special envoy for the United Nations and Arab League.
It remains unclear what Brahimi's formal link with the Arab League, if any, will be, diplomats said. They said Brahimi would be based in New York, unlike Annan, who is based in Geneva.
Syria had only accepted Annan as a U.N. representative of the United Nations, not the Arab League, which suspended Syria's membership due to the escalating violence between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and rebels determined to oust him.
Brahimi, a veteran U.N. troubleshooter, has demanded "strong support" from the Security Council for efforts to secure a negotiated peace, envoys said.
A source familiar with the situation said that if Brahimi took the job as the new U.N.-Arab League mediator, he would not continue with Annan's "failed approach" to the conflict but would seek a fresh strategy.
Many U.N. diplomats say that Annan's six-point peace plan remains a good departure point for any mediation effort.
Last week Brahimi made clear he wanted an end to the international deadlock on Syria.
"The U.N. Security Council and regional states must unite to ensure that a political transition can take place as soon as possible," Brahimi said in a statement published on the website of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders committed to peace and human rights.
"Millions of Syrians are clamoring for peace," Brahimi said. "World leaders cannot remain divided any longer, over and above their cries."
Annan was frustrated with the deadlock between the five permanent Security Council members. Russia, backed by China, repeatedly vetoed Western- and Arab-backed resolutions that criticized Damascus and threatened it with sanctions, saying the United States, Europe and Gulf Arabs were seeking regime change.
Brahimi, 78, has served as a U.N. special envoy in a series of challenging circumstances, including in Iraq after the U.S. invasion; in Afghanistan both before and after the end of Taliban rule, and in South Africa as it emerged from the apartheid era.
Ain Zalah's oil wells produce some 20,000 barrels of oil per day, an important source of revenue for ISIL
The Algerian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the general consul died of illness in Mali
The United States penalized a number of Iranian and other foreign companies, banks and airlines for violating sanctions against Tehran largely tied to its nuclear work
Nine Lebanese soldiers held by the ISIL have appeared in a new video, appealing to their government to intervene and meet the demands of the group or they will be beheaded within three days.
IGAD leaders signed the protocol that stresses the need for both sides to iron out major sticking points – on the economic, political and security fronts – within 45 days.
In a phone conversation Abbas discussed with the Emir of Qatar the need for the international community to honor its commitments toward the residents of Gaza, the Palestinian news agency said
Cameron said he believed the "No" campaign's arguments were resonating with voters and accused the pro-independence camp of bullying opponents.
Shlosberg's local newspaper Pskovskaya Guberniya published the investigation into funerals of soldiers from a local paratroop division last week.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, condemning Russian intervention in his country, said that there were now thousands of foreign troops and hundreds of foreign tanks in Ukraine.
PM Sharif says opposition demands in line with constitution are being addressed as opposition appears to lose footing amid an alleged 'cold war' between government and army
Hadi re-assigned the presidential committee to head to Saada for another round with Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, the leader of the Shiite group, over the latter's demand of the dismissal of the government and reversal of a recent government decision to lift fuel subsidies is reversed.
Morsi's supporters who staged protests, marches and human chains in different parts across this country
Earlier this month, West Point residents woke up to find their township heavily barricaded with barbed wire and surrounded by security forces
Xi said the army must "strive to establish a new military doctrine, institutions, equipment systems, strategies and tactics and management modes" for information warfare.
Catherine Ashton, the EU's top diplomat, is expected to continue to lead nuclear negotiations with Iran even as she leaves her EU job at the end of October.
Political tensions have been running high in Lesotho since June when Prime Minister Thomas Thabane suspended the country's parliament to avoid a no-confidence vote