Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN and Arab League mediator in the Syria conflict, met with the Security Council behind closed doors on Friday. He gave another bleak assessment of the Syria situation but denied he was resigning.
Difficulties in making progress to resolve the situation have led to reports that Brahimi was preparing to resign his post. However, he denied the rumors Friday: "I haven't resigned," Brahimi told reporters. "Every day I wake up and think I should resign. One day perhaps I will resign."
Brahimi's frustrations come reportedly from deadlock in the UN Security Council as Washington and Moscow are unable to agree on action. Both countries have a veto. "With the Syrians I got nowhere," he said. "With the Security Council, with the Americans and the Russians, we made some progress but it was far too little. I am very happy that the Americans and the Russians are talking to one another."
Earlier in the week, diplomats told the Reuters news agency that Brahimi had hoped to revamp his role as peace mediator in the two-year-old Syrian conflict as a United Nations envoy without any official link to the Arab League. However, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he wanted Brahimi to continue working as a joint representative of both the Arab League and United Nations.
The UN has reported that 70,000 people have died in the conflict, in which rebels are fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad. More than a million refugees have fled the country and the Syrian Red Crescent says nearly 4 million people have been displaced internally.
jm/jr (Reuters, AFP)