New Title, New HQ as Brahimi Seeks New Solution to Syria Crisis

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Aug. 21, 2012  - Lakhdar Brahimi, the newly appointed United Nations – Arab League joint special representative for Syria, will be in New York later this week, U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said Tuesday.

The former Algerian foreign minister will also be based out of New York, Nesirky confirmed, unlike his predecessor Kofi Annan, who set up headquarters in Geneva for the four months he spent seeking a solution to the Syrian crisis.

Brahimi also has a different title than Annan, who was joint special envoy for Syria. The new title and new headquarters for his peace mission indicate that Brahimi does not merely want to be seen as a replacement for Annan (a co-member of the Elders) but as someone who can bring his own ideas and experience to bear on brokering a solution.

He’s already incurred ire from the opposition by stating that it’s too early for him to say if Assad should go and angered the regime by describing the current situation in Syria as a civil war.

- Denis Fitzgerald