Sunday, June 13, 2004

Brahimi Takes a Hike 

Haaretz has it, but so far the story seems to have gone unreported in the American press.
United Nations special envoy to Iraq Lakhdar Brahimi announced his resignation a few days ago during a UN retreat, diplomatic sources in the world body told Haaretz on Saturday.

Though the UN envoy had not yet filed a resignation letter, the sources said, a replacement for him was already being sought.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Saturday that Brahimi did not resign, nor did he threaten to resign, and added that his mission to Iraq has simply ended. According to Dujarric, Brahimi is no longer interested in the mission but will continue to serve as Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on various issues, including Iraq.

According to the report, Brahimi had been frustrated for some weeks, feeling he had been sidelined by the United States in the process of setting up the Iraqi interim government . . . .

Iraqi officials were later surprised at the massive pressure the Americans laid on Brahimi, and at his passive attitude toward the pressure. When the new appointments were announced, Brahimi's spokesman expressed concern. "This is not the way we imagined things," he said.

The UN envoy seemed to have been completely taken aback by the way the 23-member Governing Council announced its choice of Iyad Allawi as the country's interim prime minister.

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