Tag Archives: U.N. Security Council

UN Syria envoy Lakhdar Brahimi resigned

Lakhdar Brahimi resigned as United Nations special envoy in charge of mediating the civil war in Syria, after the failure of the peace talks he presided over in Geneva this year. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he accepted Brahimi’s resignation, which takes effect May 31, notices Bloomberg.

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One day in Aleppo province (according Syrian Observatory for Human Rights): 19 civilians ( including 11 children and 2 women ) killed by aerial bombardment on Om al-Amad village, near Tal al-Daman in the southern countryside of Aleppo, 1 child killed by sniper in Jam’iah al-Zahraa area, 1 child killed by mortar shells fell on al-Neirab camp, in addition to 2 children and a woman killed by regime’s bombardment on Soran, and a woman died by wounds sustained earlier by regime’s bombardment on A’zaz city.

More than 150,000 people have so far been killed in the Syrian conflict. Some 2.5 million people have fled abroad, while 9 million people inside the country need help – including nearly 3.5 million who have no access to essential goods and services.

File photo of UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Brahimi addressing a news conference at the United Nations European headquarters in GenevaThe Security Council has adopted five resolutions linked to the Syrian conflict – one in February demanding greater aid access, which has effectively been ignored by the warring parties, three resolutions in 2012 to mandate a failed U.N. observer mission to Syria and one last year on the eradication of Syria’s chemical weapons.

According Reuters, Brahimi has organized two rounds of negotiations in Geneva between Assad’s government and members of the opposition seeking to oust him. But Syria’s announcement that it would hold presidential elections on June 3 dealt a severe blow to Brahimi’s efforts. After trying for nearly two years to overcome “almost impossible odds” (as said Ban Ki-moon) to end a civil war, after confronting with the deeply divided Security Council, Brahimi resigned. 

Lakhdar Brahimi is the second U.N.-Arab envoy to quit after failing to achieve a breakthrough in the more than 3-year-old conflict between the regime of President Bashar Assad and rebel groups.

When Brahimi took over from his longtime friend, former U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan, he said it would be “an extremely complicated and very, very difficult mission”. On Tuesday, he indicated he could see no end in the near future to the bloodshed.

Lakhdar Brahimi, 80, is a former Algerian foreign minister and longtime U.N. diplomat and troubleshooter in hotspots from Afghanistan to Iraq. He said he was humbled by Ban’s “extremely generous words on this occasion which is not very pleasant for me.”

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Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fired foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki

The news that seems to surprised all the media today: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fired and replaced Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, state-run Iranian media reported Monday. Mottaki had served as Ahmadinejad’s chief diplomat since the president was first elected in 2005.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - Manouchehr Mottaki

In a brief statement on the president’s website, Ahmadinejad thanked Manouchehr Mottaki for his more than five years of service but gave no explanation for the change. He named nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi, who is also one of the country’s several vice presidents, to serve as interim foreign minister until a permanent replacement is found. What upset the Iranian President to take such a decision while Foreign Minister Mottaki was in the middle of an official visit to Africa ?

Noticed that over the past year, Iranian media have reported that lawmakers were pushing for Mottaki to be dismissed if more U.N. Security Council sanctions were imposed in response to the country’s nuclear program. According to the reports, the lawmakers felt he was not a strong or persuasive enough advocate for Iran on the international stage. Mottaki has been one of the public faces in the international debate over Iran’s nuclear program. Tehran maintains the program exists for peaceful purposes, but the United States and other Western nations have expressed concern that the program’s goals are more nefarious. Iranian diplomat approaches were unsuccessful. A fourth round of sanctions was imposed in June in response to Iran’s refusal to halt uranium enrichment, a key part of its nuclear program that is of international concern because it can be used both for making reactor fuel and atomic weapons.

Iran’s nuclear policy, however, is determined by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. But, I think that isn’t coincidental the appointment of Head of Iran’s nuclear program at the head of the Tehran government diplomacy. Will there be a change in diplomatic strategy? Unlikely. At least not in relations with the West. But Ahmadinejad may be trying to improve relations with Arab states.

Mottaki – victim of Wikileaks disclosures ?

Although Mottaki’s resignation seems to be rather a struggle between interest groups close to President Ahmadinejad, remember that the results of Iran’s diplomatic approaches have received a serious blow as a result of disclosures made by the site Wikileaks. At first, Iran dismissed the State Department memos as “mischief” aimed at damaging Tehran’s ties with the Arab world and said that reading them would be “waste of time”. But Iran could not stay silent as the depth of the Arab worry made headlines around the world – including Saudi’s King Abdullah urging for a U.S. attack against Iran to “cut off the head of the snake”. In response, last week Iran’s foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, told a security summit in Bahrain that Iran would never threaten Muslim neighbors. Authorities, meanwhile, have pressured Iranian newspapers to closely follow the state line on the WikiLeaks releases.