UN says Brahimi to keep working with Arab League on Syria

UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday that Syria mediator Lakhdar Brahimi would continue working as a joint UN-Arab League envoy, despite what UN diplomats said was Brahimi's desire to distance himself from the Arab bloc.
UN diplomats told Reuters on condition of anonymity on Tuesday that Brahimi hopes to revamp his role as peace mediator in the two-year-old Syrian conflict as a United Nations envoy without any official link to the Arab League.
But Ban, who was to meet Brahimi later on Wednesday, rejected the idea of amending the veteran Algerian diplomat's role.
"Lakhdar Brahimi has been and will continue to work as a joint special representative," he told reporters. "It is very important that the United Nations works together with the League of Arab States."
The reason Brahimi wants to distance himself from the Arab League, diplomats said, is its decision last month to recognize the Syrian opposition, a move that he feels has undermined his role as a neutral joint UN-Arab League mediator.
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