Syria Deeply spoke to Steven Heydemann and Ayham Kamel: On Tuesday, Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N.’s special envoy to Syria and mediator of the Geneva I and Geneva II peace talks, officially resigned his post, citing frustration with the country’s ongoing stalemate and the international community’s inability to make a difference.
“It’s not very pleasant for me. It’s very sad that I leave this position and leave Syria behind in such a bad state,” he said, after U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon announced the departure. “Everybody who has responsibility and an influence in the situation has to remember that the question is, How many more dead? How much more destruction is there going to be before Syria becomes again the Syria we have known?”
Brahimi is the second diplomat to resign the post since the start of the conflict; Kofi Annan left in 2012 after just six months on the job. The announcement has led to questions about the future of an internationally negotiated peace process, as laid out by the Geneva plan, and as to who, if anyone, will replace Brahimi.
“It’s a pretty damning indictment of the U.N. Security Council that the prospects for a political settlement look worse after three years of U.N. effort than they did earlier,” says Steven Heydemann, vice president of Applied Research on Conflict at Washington’s U.S. Institute of Peace.
We asked Heydemann and Ayham Kamel, Middle East analyst at the Eurasia Group, to weigh in. [Continue reading…]