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Britain backs Brahimi appointment to Syria role

18th August 2012, Comments0 comments

Britain said Friday it "fully supports" the appointment of veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi as the new international envoy for the conflict in Syria.

Brahimi will replace Kofi Annan, who said earlier this month he would step down after complaining of a lack of international support for his campaign to make President Bashar al-Assad and opposition fighters end hostilities.

Alistair Burt, a junior British foreign minister, said Britain "fully supports" the appointment of Brahimi, welcoming the "vast experience" he brought to the role of seeking a political solution to the violence in Syria.

"I hope the international community will join together in lending its full support to Mr Brahimi to work with all sides in the Syrian conflict to end the months of bloodshed," Burt added in a statement.

"I look forward to an early opportunity to discuss with Mr Brahimi the ways in which the UK can support him and diplomatic efforts to end the violence in Syria."

Brahimi, 78, has vast experience of handling conflict-stricken states.

He was Algeria's foreign minister from 1991-93 and later became a UN envoy in Afghanistan before and after the September 11, 2001 attacks, and in Iraq after the 2003 invasion.

Representing the Arab League, Brahimi helped end the Lebanese civil war in the 1980s, negotiating with the Syrian government of the time.

UN deputy spokesman Eduardo del Buey said Friday that Brahimi would come to New York "soon" for talks. Annan is to step down on August 31.

© 2012 AFP

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