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UN appoints new Syria envoy


15:06, August 18, 2012

File photo taken on Jan. 31, 2003 shows the then United Nations envoy to Afghanistan Lakhdar Brahimi speaking at the UN headquarters in New York. UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Lakhdar Brahimi, a veteran Algerian diplomat, as the new joint special representative of the UN and the League of Arab States for Syria to replace Kofi Annan, on Aug. 17, 2012. (Xinhua/Peng Zhangqing)

BEIJING, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday announced the appointment of Lakhdar Brahimi, a veteran Algerian diplomat, as the new joint special envoy of the UN and the Arab League (AL) for Syria.

"The secretary-general of the United Nations is pleased, along with Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby of the League of Arab States, to announce the appointment today of Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi as their Joint Special Representative for Syria," said a statement from the UN after the appointment.

Brahimi, 78, was Algeria's foreign minister from 1991 to 1993. He joined in 1994 the United Nations, where he served in a variety of high-profile posts until he retired in 2005.

In the statement, the UN chief stressed that diplomacy to promote a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Syria remains a top priority for the UN, saying that more fighting and militarization will only exacerbate the suffering and make a peaceful resolution of the crisis more difficult.

Brahimi echoed the demand of his predecessor, former UN chief Kofi Annan, that the UN Security Council unite behind his efforts to persuade the two sides to end the conflict.

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