UN Settles On New Envoy for Syria


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Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The United Nations is still on a mission to help establish a Syria without conflict and violence, and has appointed a new envoy for the embattled nation.

To ease the conflict in Syria, the UN and the League of Arab States said Friday they will deploy former Algerian foreign minister Lakhdar Brahimi as a peace envoy to replace former Secretary General Kofi Annan.  Brahimi was formerly a UN envoy to Afghanistan and Iraq.

Annan announced his resignation earlier this month, saying divisions in the Security Council were hindering peace efforts.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Friday that the Obama Administration supports the decision.

“Mr. Brahimi is a capable and seasoned diplomat, well-known to us and tother in the international community.  We look forward to continuing to work closely with the UN to support and put an end to the bloodshed in Syria and the advancement of a Syrian-led and internationally-supported political transition,” he said.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined the White House in welcoming Brahimi in his new role, but first thanked Annan for taking on “the serious task of trying to bring an end to the brutal violence” and forging the “path toward a peaceful transition and a post-Assad Syria.”

“We are grateful for Mr. Annan’s service,” Clinton said in a statement Friday.

“My message to Special Representative Brahimi is simple: The United States stands ready to support you and secure a lasting peace that upholds the legitimate aspirations for a representative government of the people of Syria. And to the Syrian people: you are not alone,” she said.

As Special Representative for Syria, Brahimi is expected to assume his duties following the expiration of Annan’s mandate on Aug. 31.

The mandate for the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) is expected to be allowed to expire Sunday by the Security Council, but the U.N. says it is working to keep its presence on the ground, through a liaison office that will continue to support the Special Representative’s efforts.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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