Exclusive: Algerian Brahimi seen replacing Annan as Syria envoy

WASHINGTON Thu Aug 9, 2012 7:23pm EDT

Diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi speaks with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter (not pictured) during a joint news conference in Khartoum May 27, 2012. REUTERS/ Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

Diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi speaks with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter (not pictured) during a joint news conference in Khartoum May 27, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/ Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi is expected to replace Kofi Annan as the U.N.-Arab League joint special envoy for Syria barring a last-minute change, diplomats said on Thursday.

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 U.N. 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 U.N. 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 U.N. 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 U.N. Security Council.

While the council united in April to approve the deployment of 300 monitors to Syria to observe a failed ceasefire as part of Annan's peace plan, Russia and China vetoed three other resolutions that criticized Syria and threatened sanctions against Damascus.

In announcing his resignation, Annan explicitly blamed "finger-pointing and name-calling" at the Security Council for his decision to quit, but suggested his successor may have better luck.

Assad's forces have killed more than 15,000 people since March of 2011 in a sustained effort to end the anti-government rebellion, some Western leaders say. Damascus says the rebels have killed several thousand members of its security forces.

Assad has suffered a series of blows in recent weeks, including the defection of his prime minister, Riyad Hijab, on Monday and the assassination of four of his top security officials last month.

He named a new prime minister, Wael al-Halki, on Thursday as government forces pushed rebels back from a strategic district in Aleppo, Syria's commercial hub and largest city.

In accepting Annan's resignation, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon thanked him for having taken on "this most difficult and potentially thankless of assignments."

A spokesman for Ban, who is expected to formally name Annan's successor, was not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting By Arshad Mohammed; additional reporting by Michelle Nichols at the United Nations. Editing by Christopher Wilson)

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Comments (6)
Vison8 wrote:
This is very good news for al-quaeda masquerading as ‘innocent rebels’…………..

Aug 09, 2012 8:03pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
paintcan wrote:
Why do they even bother? The sides are infiltrated by ever country in the region, apparently, and are eager for trouble and a rumble. I think it is murder therapy (and may even pay big money). It makes the boys feel like men and he can go home and alternately kiss his wife or wives and then beat them into submission. they so like a man around the house. It’s reassuring to the vampires to know that Hubby can kill the rivals if they impinge of her feeding grounds?
Are the area regimes trying to preserve an aura of good governance, like they are concerned for the people? Most would as soon see most of them dead. The economies aren’t doing well and prices are high and there are just too many non working workers. When the times get tough get the lemming upset so they self immolate? No one can consume eat that many consumer goods anyway, can they? That kid was wearing spandex or nylon but I didn’t see the shoes. Too bad the black death has been more or less defeated by modern medicine. Still the nostalgia for wide open space with few of those humans – with heads intact and maybe a beard – is a distant memory.

It was so much work for that black figure to cut that head off and not be able to add it to the accepted food groups. He looked healthy – you could have used the rest of his meat for a nice kabob, no? I think we taste like pork. I wouldn’t spend that much time slaughtering a goat let alone something that could talk back. I always knew that all that talk about god or Allah denied the essential reality of man – that he is really only another form of livestock. Thanks for the lesson in the
glorious dignity of democratic governance. You’re too fussy FSA in Syria, whoever you. Cattle ranchers usually don’t their herds to vote.
I think the populations in Syria may be entertaining unreasonably high expectations of your concern.

Rebels “fighting for democracy” is awfully optimistic, don’t you think Reuters? It doesn’t account for rebels cutting throats or sawing off heads of pedestrian joggers. Most democracies are willing to settle for redistricting. These guys play rough.

You make me an Assadist to match you saddist. If the perps of that act are truly Muslims – “may the dream of Allah, the blood sucking beast, die as quickly as you do”. And I suppose I should add something flowery like scattering dust to the winds or something about camel dung etc.

And I hope the Assad regime manages to expunge you all from the face of the earth without having to render homeless everyone in Syria. You make Carter’s Neutron bomb look prophetic and a damned shame they don’t have it now.

Aug 09, 2012 9:55pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
paintcan wrote:
This was much to much fun to let the thing go uncorrected.

Why do they even bother? The sides are infiltrated by ever country in the region, apparently, and are eager for trouble and a rumble. I think it is murder therapy (and may even pay big money). It makes the boys feel like men and he can go home and alternately kiss his wife or wives and then beat them into submission. They so like a man around the house. It’s reassuring to the vampires(es) to know that Hubby can kill the rivals if they impinge of her feeding grounds? She is always the most eager for blood but seldom shows her face. She’s the source of all the rage – she’s always an angry girl and is the force behind the scourge.

Are the area regimes trying to preserve an aura of good governance, like they are concerned for the people? Most would as soon see most of them dead. The economies aren’t doing well and prices are high and there are just too many non-working workers. When the times get tough get the lemmings upset so they self immolate? No one can consume that many consumer goods anyway, can they? That kid was wearing spandex or nylon but I didn’t see the shoes. Too bad the black death has been more or less defeated by modern medicine. Still the nostalgia for wide open space with few of those humans – with heads intact and maybe a beard – is a distant memory.

It was so much work for that black figure to cut that head off and not be able to add it to the accepted food groups. He looked healthy – you could have used the rest of his meat for a nice kabob, no? I think we taste like pork. Oops- that’s a no no isn’t it? Maybe human flesh isn’t off limits. Check with a cleric, you never know? I wouldn’t spend that much time slaughtering a goat let alone something that could talk back. I always knew that all that talk about God or Allah denied the essential reality of man – that he is really only another form of livestock and maybe should be added to the food groups. Thanks for the lesson in the glorious dignity of democratic governance. You’re too fussy FSA in Syria, whoever you are. Cattle ranchers usually don’t expect their herds to vote.

I think the populations in Syria may be entertaining unreasonably high expectations about your concern. It reminds me of the sci fi flick – to serve man? For dinner. He might have been yummy.

Rebels “fighting for democracy” is awfully optimistic, don’t you think Reuters? It doesn’t account for rebels cutting throats or sawing off heads of pedestrian joggers. Most democracies are willing to settle for redistricting. These guys play rough.

You make me an Assadist to match you saddist. If the perps of that act are truly Muslims – “may the dream of Allah, the blood sucking beast, die as quickly as you do”. And I suppose I should add something flowery like scattering dust to the winds or something about camel dung etc.

And I hope the Assad regime manages to expunge you all from the face of the earth without having to render homeless everyone in Syria. You make Carter’s Neutron bomb look prophetic and a damned shame they don’t have it now.

If precison air strikes are good for the US in Iaq and Afghanistan – I suppose one must accept the necessity for the same treatment in Syria by their “dictotorial” regimes.

I’m not at all sure I really know the difference anymore between democracies, oligarchies, plutocracies, and dictatorship[. My head is still swimming in that poor bastards blood. I almost know what it was like now to witness the execution of hundreds of aristocrats and even start to like it. I think it arouses the libido – don’t you? You should be doing it with guillotines, but they are hard to lug around. It is faster and more efficient and sometimes the victims – Lavoissier like – even manage to blink to their friends from the bottom of the basket. You made this guy pass out the moment you severed his jugular. You are the perfect entertainment for a generation raised on slasher flicks. Now they get to see the real thing, before they become food for your God.

You just aren’t arousing the right sentiments in this house but I never was one to be in sinc with the times – “Boys with Knives”. or is it “Boys without hats” (or heads).

If you get tired of beheadings: try some old time favorites. Smashing the heads of infants on stone walls. Raping young virgin girls and running them through with your swords, impaling heads on pikes (always handy for garden parties – Nero liked to use whole bodies dipped in naptha)and The English liked it for changes of regime when they needed to dispose of disgraced ministers: tearing the wombs from pregnant (your wife will love you for it she always really despises her rivals anyway). And what happened to the old Arabian Knights favorite – boiling in Oil. Remember Ali Baba? But the all time top of the line in ritual executions has to be drawing and quartering. I realize you are in a difficult position – being on the run and all – but get four horses and a good chopping table and a pot of coals and you can practice drawing and quartering – and you need a noose. Too much work?

If Allah liked the beheading, He’ll love those old stand-bys – It shows you but some real effort into it. The scope is endless – you can go Aztec and rip their hearts out with a sharp stone knife. Isn’t it an old Afghan favorite to play polo with human heads? I got to hit the books. My head is still swimming with the possibilities. But you really should be practicing recycling and feed the masses with your addition to the holiday table, blessed even.

You filthy SOBs – I was never so close to blacking out over a video murder than I did with that SANA TV clip. But you can get used to it. May God have mercy on my soul. I know it’s all aimed at the libido somehow but I will have to refer to Freud.

Aug 09, 2012 10:53pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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