UN chief confirms de Mistura appointed new Syria envoy

UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced Thursday the appointment of Italian-Swedish diplomat Staffan de Mistura as the new special envoy tasked with resolving the war in Syria.

De Mistura replaces Lakhdar Brahimi, who resigned in May after two rounds of peace talks yielded no concrete results and as the conflict escalated into a fourth year, killing more than 162,000 people.

Ban said he had consulted “broadly” before making the appointment, including with Syrian authorities, and then consulted with the Arab League also on the appointment of Egypt’s Ramzy Ezzedine Ramzy as deputy envoy.

“The special envoy will provide good offices aimed at bringing an end to all violence and human rights violations and promoting a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis,” Ban told reporters.

Ramzy is an Egyptian diplomat and former deputy foreign minister.

Ban called on the international community, in particular the Security Council and Syrian parties to the conflict, to allow de Mistura, who has also served in Iraq and Afghanistan, to succeed.

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