US welcomes choice of new UN special envoy for Syria

US Secretary of State John Kerry has welcomed the appointment of veteran diplomat Staffan de Mistura as the new UN special envoy for Syria.

IANS| Last Updated: Jul 11, 2014, 17:45 PM IST

Washington: US Secretary of State John Kerry has welcomed the appointment of veteran diplomat Staffan de Mistura as the new UN special envoy for Syria.

The top American envoy Thursday praised de Mistura as "a distinguished diplomat who brings a wealth of experience to this pressing crisis" in Syria from his work on Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan and the former Yugoslavia, Xinhua reported.
De Mistura, a former deputy foreign minister of Italy, was selected Thursday by UN chief Ban Ki-moon to fill a vacancy left by Lakhdar Brahimi, who resigned in May.

De Mistura, 67, is one of the UN`s most seasoned diplomats with over three decades of experience with the world body in conflict- affected areas.

"We encourage Special Envoy de Mistura to build upon the outstanding work of his predecessor, Lakhdar Brahimi, and expand upon UN engagement with Syrians from all strata of society," Kerry said in a statement.
"We look forward to supporting Special Envoy de Mistura as he works to achieve a negotiated political solution, which we believe is the best way to address all dimensions of this crisis and to end the conflict sustainably," he added.

Brahimi, a former Algerian foreign minister, managed to organise two rounds of negotiations in Geneva between the Syrian government and members of the opposition earlier this year, though the peace talks produced little results.

The ongoing conflict in Syria, which began in March 2011, has resulted in some 150,000 deaths and over 680,000 injuries.