Annan to appoint Brahimi as mediator for swapping soldiers

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has decided to appoint his former Special Advisor Lakhdar Brahimi to mediate a possible agreement for swapping Lebanese prisoners in return for freeing Israeli soldiers kidnapped on July 12 that sparked a bloody 34-day war in he region.

Jerusalem, Sept 06: UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has decided to appoint his former Special Advisor Lakhdar Brahimi to mediate a possible agreement for swapping Lebanese prisoners in return for freeing Israeli soldiers kidnapped on July 12 that sparked a bloody 34-day war in he region.
The 'Jerusalem Post' reported that it has learnt from UN sources that the person will be Brahimi, one of Annan's most trusted advisors, who was very critical of Israel during the
war.

The former Algerian Foreign Minister, who has served the UN in various capacities, recently publicly expressed his support for talking directly with Hezbollah.

In an interview during the war, Brahimi claimed that Israel had killed more Lebanese children than Hezbollah fighters, condemning it by saying that Jerusalem "can't say
this is collateral damage," the report said.

He has served as special representative to Afghanistan after the war and also compiled a UN report in 2000 dealing with the problems of peacekeeping missions.

Annan announced his intention to appoint a mediator to bring about a prisoner swap during a visit to Saudi Arabia on Monday.

A UN spokesman in New York, Farhan Haq, did not comment on the question of the identity of the special envoy.

"The Secretary-General made it clear he would not give the name of the envoy in order to enable him to do his work discreetly," Haq told the post in response.

Bureau Report

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