Hollande to meet with new UN peace envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi
French President François Hollande is due to meet on Monday with the new United Nations peace envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi.
Brahimi, an Algerian veteran diplomat, was named on Friday as the replacement to Kofi Annan. After a poor showing of international support for his peace plan, Annan resigned from his position earlier this month.
Lakdar Brahimi comes to the new post with much experience. As a senior Arab League official, between 1984 – 1991, he brokered an end to the Lebanese civil war. He then went on to serve as foreign minister for Algeria.
France has already made calls for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to be ousted. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, added on Friday that Assad’s regime must be “smashed fast”.
Brahimi has said he is not confident of being able to restore peace in Syria, but stressed cooperation is essential if anything is to be accomplished. The new envoy also warned on Sunday that it is no longer a matter of avoiding a civil war, but more a question of ending it at this point.
Under Annan’s efforts, Russia and China vetoed resolutions on the crisis three times. They were against any forced regime change coming from outside Syria.
Syria’s revolt against Bashar al-Assad’s regime began last year in March, and has quickly spiralled into a violent conflict, claiming more than 21 000, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.