Brahimi to Replace Annan as Syria Envoy
According to reports, veteran diplomat and former Algerian foreign minister Lakhdar Brahimi, who played a role in negotiating the end of the Lebanese civil war, will be named as the new UN-Arab League envoy to Syria in place of Kofi Annan. The appointment remains unconfirmed and other contenders include ex-Spanish foreign affairs minister Miguel Angel Moratinos and Javier Solana, a former NATO chief and European Union foreign policy leader. The announcement came as rebels in Aleppo took heavy fire from regime forces backed by jets, helicopters, artillery and tanks, forcing the rebels to retreat from portions of the city.
Meanwhile, British foreign secretary William Hague pledged additional support to the Syrian opposition, announcing a package of £5 million in non-lethal aid. The announcement came as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced an additional $5.5 million in aid to Syria. Additionally, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird flew to the region to meet with Jordanian and Lebanese diplomats, aiming to boost Canada’s role in the Syria crisis and offer additional support to the two countries largely impacted by Syrian refugees. The diplomatic visits occurred as the U.N. announced that more than 150,000 people have fled Syria since unrest began last year, more than a third of which have fled to Turkey.
Finally, Christopher Dickey writes that Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq will continue to feel the negative effects of the Syrian conflict despite efforts to keep a safe distance. Jonathan Marcus asks how Syria’s Kurdish minority will benefit from the crisis, and Andrew Bossone discusses how various media outlets are covering the conflict and what that means for the fight going forward.