WASHINGTON, Aug 17, 2012 (AFP) – The White House on Friday called on the United Nations to explain the mandate of its new envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, but called him a “capable” and “seasoned” diplomat.
“We need to hear more from the UN on the mandate of Mr Brahimi’s new position,” White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest said after the Algerian diplomatic troubleshooter agreed to take on the new post.
The UN announced earlier that Brahimi would take over from Kofi Annan, who resigned this month after sharply criticizing world powers for the failure to agree an approach to ending the murderous violence in Syria.
UN leader Ban Ki-moon appealed to the divided international community to give “strong, clear and unified” support to the new envoy.
Brahimi, 78, is a former Algerian foreign minister and also a UN envoy in Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001 attacks, and in Iraq after the 2003 invasion. Brahimi helped end the Lebanese civil war in the 1980s, negotiating with the Syrian government of the time.
Russia, Assad’s main ally, and China have vetoed three UN Security Council resolutions on Syria, accusing western nations of only seeking forced regime change.
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