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EU pledges support for new Syria envoy Brahimi

Published on Aug 18, 2012 5:56 PM
A May 27, 2012 file photo shows Algeria's former foreign minister Lakhdar Brahimi speaking during a joint press conference with former US president Jimmy Carter following a meeting with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in Khartoum. -- PHOTO: AFP

BRUSSELS (AFP) - The European Union on Saturday pledged to support Lakhdar Brahimi as the new international mediator on the Syria conflict in his "immensely challenging task".

"Mr. Brahimi is an experienced diplomat with a deep understanding of the region," EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement, adding: "The EU will provide him with its full support in this immensely challenging task." The United Nations said on Friday that the Algerian former foreign minister would take over as international envoy, jointly representing the UN and the Arab League, from Kofi Annan, who quit on Aug 2 after the failure of his peace plan.

"The prerequisite for any political process to work is full support by the UN Security Council and agreement by all parties to give diplomacy another chance," Ms Ashton said.

She added: "Further militarisation of the conflict by any of the parties can only bring greater suffering to Syria, its citizens, and the region as a whole." Ms Ashton said the EU continued to favour a "Syrian-led political transition that would meet the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people".

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