World Bulletin / News Desk
Diplomatic attempts to end the Syrian conflict are "nearly impossible" and not enough is being done to end the fighting, the new U.N. and Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said in a BBC interview broadcast on Monday.
"I know how difficult it is - how nearly impossible. I can't say impossible - nearly impossible," Brahimi, an Algerian diplomat, told the BBC. "And we are not doing much. That in itself is a terrible weight."
Brahimi replaced Kofi Annan as the United Nations and Arab League joint special representative on Syria at the end of August. Annan stepped down after blaming "finger-pointing and name-calling" at the U.N. Security Council for hampering efforts to find a breakthrough in the conflict.
Around 20,000 people have been killed during a 17-month uprising against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.
Brahimi said he was "scared of the weight of responsibility" on his shoulders and was aware that not enough is being done to end the violence through diplomacy.
"People are already saying 'People are dying and what are you doing?' And we are not doing much. That in itself is a terrible weight," he told the BBC in an interview conducted in English.
Brahimi said he felt like he was "standing in front of a brick wall", looking for cracks that may yield a solution.
"I'm coming into this job with my eyes open, and (with) no illusions," he said.
The east African nation is facing its worst political crisis since emerging from a 12-year civil war in 2005, worrying neighbours and Western donors that it could spark more unrest
Kabul's police chief said he heard Fedai Mahaz had claimed responsibility, but did not have information about them because they were not active in the Afghan capital.
A political row over revelations that French investigators had tapped the phone of ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy took a new turn after Francois Hollande's government acknowledged it knew of the surveillance.
Ashton, talking to political leaders and activists, said the EU would help Bosnian leaders address protesters' demands to curb corruption and boost the economy, without going into detail
UN Special Representative Nick Kay said the push started this month when Ethiopian troops took control of towns in southern Somalia, including Bakool regional capital Hudur
Moscow, which denies its troops have a role in the takeover of Crimea, says people there - a small majority of whom are ethnic Russians - should have the right to secede
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to London to meet with his Russian, as Putin and French President Francois Hollande discussed "possibilities for stepping up international support" for a solution
"Syria is now the biggest humanitarian and peace and security crisis facing the world, with violence reaching unthinkable levels," Ban's press office said
In an interview with the France 24 news channel, Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki accused Saudi and Qatar of sponsoring terrorism in his country.
The building is reported to have had gas smells emanating from it for weeks.
His address to the Knesset was staunchly pro-Israeli, and he delighted his hosts by claiming Jewish ancestral roots and talking tough on Iran
The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran has said Russia is to build two new nuclear power plants in the country.
The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels have been involved in nearly two decades of conflict that spilled into eastern Congo
Egyptian authorities have tightened their control over the border with the Hamas-run Gaza Strip since last July's ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi by the Egyptian army.
Edward Dolinsky, head of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, made a lobbying trip to Jerusalem but not received by officials from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government.
"Jordan did not bow to these demands because the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) itself has not adopted a unified position on the need to isolate Qatar over its foreign policies," the lawmaker said on condition of anonymity.