New U.N. ‘peace envoy’ to Syria dithers, describing a grim situation
he new U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria offered a downbeat assessment Monday on the prospects for peace in the war-torn country, saying that he would be powerless to avert worsening civil and sectarian strife as long as the United Nations’ biggest powers, including the United States and Russia, remained divided.
Lakhdar Brahimi, a veteran U.N. troubleshooter, also sent a strong message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that his promises of government-sponsored reforms would not be enough to stem the spreading violence in Syria.
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“I think there is no disagreement that the situation is extremely bad and getting worse,” Brahimi told reporters after the meeting. “I refuse to believe that reasonable people do not see that you cannot go backward; you cannot go back to the Syria of the past. I think I told everybody in Damascus and elsewhere that reform is not enough. What is needed is change.”