UNITED NATIONS : Lakhdar Brahimi, who steps down on May 31 as UN-Arab League mediator for Syria, says he is sorry for his failure to resolve the over three years old Syrian crisis, but he believes the Geneva Communique envisating a trasitional government in Damascus will remain the "centrepiece" in the efforts to bring peace and stability to the war-torn country.
"The Geneva Communique will continue to be the centrepiece" in the international efforts to bring an early end to the Syrian crisis, said Brahimi, who said the Syrian people have shown "incredible resilience and dignity: I'm sure that they will get it (peace)."
The Geneva Communique, adopted after the first international meeting on Syria on June 30, 2012, called for the creation of a transitional government that would lead to holding of elections. The communique has long been seen as the political basis for peace talks on the Syrian crisis.
Brahimi also expressed his belief in what he called a "new Syria," which he did not elaborate, saying instead "History doesn' t walk backward, it goes forward." Shortly after Brahimi's statement to the press here, Vitaly Churkin, R ussia's permanent representative to the United Nations, said that they will miss Brahimi, who strived to mediate peace and stability in Syria. "The show must go on," Churkin said, adding that everybody must work very hard to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis.
Earlier Tuesday, UN Secretary-General announced that he has regretfully accepted the resignation of Brahimi, who, Ban said, " has faced almost impossible odds, with a Syrian nation, Middle Eastern region and wider international community that have been hopelessly divided in their approaches to ending the conflict."
Brahimi, who was standing by the secretary-general at the time of resignation announcement, said that he was "very, very sad to leave Syria behind in such a bad state." Yet, he had no doubt the secretary-general would do "everything that is humanly possible" to work with the UN Security Council, the Syrian parties and with neighboring countries, to end the crisis.
Appointed as the UN-Arab League joint special envoy on Aug.17, 2012, Brahimi took over the peace-facilitation role played by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. A long-time special advisor to the UN secretary-general, Brahimi, a former Algerian foreign minister, was also the former Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) from October 2001 to December 2004.
For more than a year, Brahimi has made no secret that he is contemplating stepping down from the post as the UN and Arab League joint special representative for Syria. According to the UN, well over 100,000 people have been killed and an estimated 9 million others driven from their homes since opposition protesters first sought to oust President Bashar al- Assad and his government in March 2011. In addition, there are currently more than 2.4 million Syrian refugees registered in the region.
Two rounds of talks earlier this year, the first in January followed by a second in February, saw both sides sticking to their positions and yielded only modest cooperation on a humanitarian issue related to aid access in the long-besieged old city of Homs. A third round has been planned but not yet scheduled.