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Brahimi gives grim report on Syria stalemate

UN envoy says Damascus is completely uncooperative and urges the Security Council to come together to address the crisis

Last Modified: 19 Apr 2013 18:39
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Brahimi denies rumours he is resigning, capping a week of widespread reports in the Arab world [AFP]

The joint UN-Arab League envoy to Syria has given the Security Council a grim assessment of the Syrian civil war, saying that Damascus is completely uncooperative in negotiations.

"With the Syrians, I got nowhere," Lakhdar Brahimi told reporters on Friday after the closed-door briefing.

Since last year, Brahimi has been promoting a peace plan that would call for a transitional government in which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would step aside. Damascus has shown no appetite for discussing Assad's resignation.

Brahimi also chided the Security Council for its ongoing deadlock over the war. Western and Arab nations blame the conflict on Assad's government.

Russia insists on assigning equal blame to the Syrian rebel opposition, and has used it veto, along with China, to block draft council resolutions.

"On the Security Council, with the Americans and the Russians, we made some progress but it is too little," Brahimi said.

"If they really believe that they are in charge of looking after peace and security, there is no time for them to lose to really take this question more seriously than they have until now," he said.

Brahimi denied rumours he was resigning, capping a week of widespread reports in the Arab world that he was quitting in frustration, or dumping his affiliation with the Arab League, which has officially recognised the Syrian opposition forces as the legitimate government.

"I haven't resigned," Brahimi said. "Every day I wake up, I think I should resign. But I haven't so far. One day, perhaps, one day I will resign, and I assure you, you will find out."

Brahimi assumed the UN-Arab League envoy role last year after former UN chief Kofi Annan quit in frustration.

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