As UN Envoy Quits, France Says Assad Using Chemicals

Regime has continued using chemical weapons: French diplomat
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 14, 2014 8:30 AM CDT
Lakhdar Brahimi, UN and Arab League Special Envoy to Syria, speaks during a news conference after closed meetings in the UN Security Council, Tuesday, May 13, 2014.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – First it was Kofi Annan; now his successor, Lakhdar Brahimi, is also stepping down as the UN and Arab League's special envoy to Syria. "He has faced almost impossible odds, with a Syrian nation, Middle Eastern region, and wider international community that have been hopelessly divided in their approaches to ending the conflict," UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon says, citing "a failure of all of us," the AP reports. For his part, Brahimi offered "apologies," saying it was sad that he was leaving "Syria behind in such a bad state." It's not known who will take over for him, the New York Times reports.

Meanwhile, France's foreign minister says chemical weapon use hasn't stopped in the country despite a treaty against it. The Assad regime appears to have used chemical weapons 14 times since the agreement, Laurent Fabius says, pointing to "credible witnesses." A Human Rights Watch report today lends support to his assertion, al Jazeera adds. Fabius said France had been ready to support a possible US-led strike in Syria last year, and it was unfortunate that it hadn't been carried out, the New York Times reports. "We feel that it would have changed many things," he said in Washington. (Read more Syria stories.)

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