Saturday, 18 August 2012

UN appoints new envoy for Syria conflict

The United Nations on Friday confirmed the appointment of the former Algerian Foreign Minister Lakhdar Brahimi as Special Representative by U.N. and Arab League to explore peaceful solution to the conflict in Syria.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appealed for “strong, clear and unified” international support behind Brahimi as he announced the appointment in a statement.

Lakhdar Brahimi, 78-year-old from Algeria, served as Algeria's foreign minister from 1991-1993, then he Joined the United Nations in 1994.

According to the U.N., Brahimi led U.N. missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti and South Africa, and he helped to end the Lebanese civil war.

For it's part, SANA news reported that according to Syrian foreign ministry, Syria welcomed the appointing of Brahimi as a new international peace envoy.

"Damascus was still committed to o Annan's six-point plan, but this is not enough and needs another party to conduct a national dialogue," the Syrian foreign ministry said in a statement.

In the meantime , referring to the U.N. Security Council's order to end the U.N. observer mission in Syria, Ban insisted that the U.N. must maintain a presence in Syria to be able to monitor events and keep hopes of a political resolution alive.

"A flexible U.N. presence in Syria would provide the U.N. the impartial means to assess the situation on the ground," Ban said in a letter to the Security Council ahead of its talks.

"The U.N. cannot discontinue its support" while the crisis continues, he stressed. "Rather, we must adapt to the situation while pursuing our efforts."

Furthermore, after the suspension of Syria from the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Moallem said that the Arab League and OIC have not only suspended Syria's membership, but also conspired against it, adding that they are responsible for the bloodshed in Syria.

Al-Moallem also lashed out at Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, saying they were just tools in the conspiracy the United States and the West has been leading against Syria, SANA news reported.

On the ground, fighting and bombing continued to rage, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported clashes between government forces and rebels near the main military airport in Damascus.

In Aleppo, Syrian jets and helicopters are continuing to bombard the northern suburbs. Activists say a woman and her three young children were among those killed today.

The local coordination committees reported that on Friday, at least 157 people had been killed across Syria by gunfire from the regime force.

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