UN dismisses rumors that Syria envoy has quit

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura speaks during a press conference in the capital Damascus on November 20, 2016. (AFP)

The United Nations on Thursday dismissed rumors that its special envoy for the Syrian conflict, Staffan de Mistura, had resigned.

“Media reports that Special Envoy de Mistura is resigning his post are not accurate. The Special Envoy remains fully engaged on his mission,” the UN said in a statement.

Arabic media had reported earlier Thursday that de Mistura had handed in his resignation for personal reasons.

The 69-year-old was named to the post in July 2014, charged with the daunting task of trying to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict that has torn Syria apart since 2011, killing 300,000 people.

Two other special envoys had previously held the post before resigning: former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, and former Algerian foreign minister Lakhdar Brahimi.

De Mistura, a Swedish-Italian career diplomat, told Swiss public TV network RTS last month that he had no plans to quit the job, despite the difficulty of the task.

“If I did it, it would only be if I thought there was no use for our work and if my family asked it of me,” he said.

“My conscience tells me I must support the Syrians, but no one is indispensable,” he added.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47
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