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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says new Syria envoy to be named soon

July 10, 2014, 7:45 UTC+3 UN
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UN, July 10, /ITAR-TASS/. Debates on the candidacy of Staffan de Mistura for the post of the new UN Syria envoy are still underway and the final decision will be announced “very soon,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said.

“I hope to be in a position to make an announcement very soon,” Ban Ki-moon told journalists on Wednesday commenting on the candidacy of de Mistura, a dual citizen of Sweden and Italy and a conversational speaker of Arabic language.

De Mistura worked in different positions in the United Nations for 40 years and served as the UN secretary-general’s representative in Iraq and Afghanistan. His last position was of a deputy foreign minister of Italy at the time, when the government was headed by technocrat Mario Monti.

The post of the UN Syria envoy became vacant on May 31, 2014 following the resignation of the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for the Syrian Crisis, Lakhdar Brahimi, who had held it for almost two years.

UN’s first envoy to Syria after the civil war erupted there over three years ago was former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who resigned in August of 2012 saying that the task to resolve the Syrian conflict was “mission impossible.”

Fighting between Syrian government troops and militants has left over 100,000 people dead and displaced millions since its start in 2011, according to UN statistics.

The first two rounds of an international peace conference on Syria, dubbed Geneva-2, organized by Russia and the United States and designed to negotiate a solution to the Syrian crisis, brought no particular progress in January and February. The parties to the Syrian conflict agreed to continue their discussions.

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