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UN Syria Brahimi envoy stepping down

The United Nations and Arab League special envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, has announced that he is stepping down from his role.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon praised the veteran diplomat but admitted that the UN had “not been able to make any progress” in Syria.

Mr Brahimi took over the role in 2012 from former UN chief Kofi Annan.

Both have failed to find a peaceful solution to a three-year conflict that has left some 150,000 people dead.

Mr Ban told a news conference in New York that Mr Brahimi’s term would come to an end on 31 May.

He gave no indication whether or not there would be a successor.

The Algerian diplomat, 80, said that he would brief the UN Security Council on his decision later on Tuesday.

Mr Brahimi chaired two round of peace talks between the Syrian government and the opposition movement in Geneva, but the negotiations ended in deadlock.

Both sides agreed to some limited local ceasefires to allow for humanitarian assistance, but fighting still continues in large parts of Syria.

In addition to those killed, millions of Syrians have been forced to flee their homes since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011.

Large parts of Syria’s main cities, particularly Aleppo and Homs, have also been destroyed.

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