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Veteran UN Diplomat Brahimi May Be Special Syria Envoy

A veteran United Nations troubleshooter, Lakhdar Brahimi, may succeed former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan as joint UN-Arab League special envoy for Syria, diplomats said.

Brahimi, 78, a former Algerian foreign minister, has handled difficult assignments in the past for the world body, including serving as special representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2004. Previously, he was the secretary-general’s special envoy for Afghanistan for two years until October 1999.

As special representative for South Africa, he led the UN Observer Mission from 1993 until the 1994 democratic elections that installed Nelson Mandela as president of post-apartheid South Africa. He has also taken on UN assignments in Iraq, Haiti, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yemen, Liberia, Nigeria and Sudan, according to the UN.

An announcement may come as early as today, according to three UN diplomats who asked not to be identified since Brahimi’s assignment was still under discussion.

Reuters reported the expected appointment earlier today.

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