New UN Syria envoy to be named next week
UNITED NATIONS - Kofi Annan's successor as the United Nations and Arab League mediator in Syria will be named early next week, French ambassador to the United Nations Gerard Araud said Friday (Saturday, August 11, Manila time).
"My understanding is that he will be or she will be appointed Monday or Tuesday," Araud told reporters.
"It is a very tough job. There are a lot of constraints. The first is to be appointed by two organizations, and also to find somebody who would be courageous enough to face this task."
Although Annan's efforts to implement a six-point peace plan made little headway, Araud said it is important to "have somebody who could try to relaunch the negotiation, if there is an opportunity."
"So far, the UN is the only channel that could appear as acceptable to the two parties," he said.
Araud, whose country chairs the Security Council this August, pointed out that the six-point plan remains "the only text approved by all the members of the council."
"I suspect we have for the moment to stick to it, especially the first point about the end of violence."
UN diplomats have said Algeria's former foreign minister Lakhdar Brahimi, 78 -- who served as UN envoy to Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001 attacks and in Iraq after the 2003 US-led invasion -- has been tipped to replace Annan.
Annan's resignation on August 2 sparked a new round of recriminations among the council's five permanent members, with the United States blaming Russia and China for vetoing three separate UN resolutions on the conflict.
Araud said a Security Council meeting on Syria on August 30 would "see if it is possible at least to find unity in the council on a humanitarian basis... at least send a unified message on this issue that we think is not controversial." - Agence France-Presse