Russia questions UN-Arab League envoy’s legitimacy

Moscow, March 29 (IANS) Russia has questioned if the UN- Arab League joint envoy Lakhdar Brahimi can stay as a lawful representative on Syria crisis following the League’s latest move, Xinhua reported.

“A big question arises about the mandate of Lakhdar Brahimi, who is a representative of the United Nations and the Arab League on contacts and negotiations between the (Syrian) government and opposition for the purpose of finding a mutually acceptable solution before the Arab League summit,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
Arab leaders gathered Tuesday for the bloc’s annual two-day summit in Doha, offering Syrian opposition National Coalition an official seat at the gathering.
“I just can’t see how Mr. Brahimi can continue representing not only the UN, but also the Arab League,” Lavrov said Thursday, adding the results of the Arab League summit showed it had given up the peaceful settlement of the prolonged crisis.
According to Lavrov, Arab League’s recognition of the opposition group as the sole legitimate representative of Syria has already “put an end” to the Geneva agreements.
On Wednesday, Moscow said the Arab League’s move to hand the Syrian opposition the country’s official seat at the summit and its decision to give military backing to the rebels went against international law.