Lakhdar Brahimi steps down as special envoy to Syria

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Wednesday, 14 May, 2014

"I’m sure that the Syria crisis will end. The question is only this: how many more dead? How much more destruction?"  Announcing his resignation as Joint Special Representative for Syria yesterday, Lakhdar Brahimi and Ban Ki-moon gave a joint press briefing.

Ban Ki-moon and Lakhdar Brahimi
Photo: UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

At a press briefing yesterday in New York, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced Lakhdar Brahimi's resignation as Joint Special Representative for Syria.

Praising Brahimi's perseverance and diplomacy, Ban recognised that he nevertheless "faced almost impossible odds" in his efforts to help Syria's warring parties overcome their divisions.

Mr Brahimi gave a short statement:

"Mr Secretary-General, I am truly humbled by your kindness and the extremely generous words that you have had on this occasion, which is not very pleasant for me. It’s very sad that I leave this position and leave Syria behind in such a bad state.

"But, as you said, Secretary-General, I have absolutely no doubt that you will continue, as you have, to do everything that is humanly possible to work with the Security Council, with the neighbours of Syria, and indeed with the Syrian parties themselves to end this crisis.

"I’m sure that the crisis will end. The question is only this: everybody who has responsibility and an influence in the situation has to remember that the question is how many more dead? How much more destruction is there going to be before Syria becomes again the Syria we have known – the new Syria that will be different from the Syria of the past, but it will be the Syria we have loved and admired for many, many years.

"I’m extremely grateful to you, Secretary-General. And especially that I know you are traveling in a few minutes, but you have taken time to come down for this occasion personally. Thank you very much indeed, sir."

Read the full transcript from the joint press briefing and Q&A.

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