Lakhdar Brahimi

The UN and Arab League’s troubleshooter in Syria tells Alan Philps how the curtain fell on America’s moment in the Middle East

The World Today
5 minute READ

You have been involved in Middle Eastern politics from the Algerian War in the late 1950s, through crises in Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan and most recently Syria, as the UN and Arab League special envoy. Is the region in the worst state you can recall?

It is certainly the most troubled region in the world today. We’ve always had problems but what is different now is the perception, held by the people of the region themselves, that their problems are difficult, perhaps even impossible to solve. There is a kind of despair that was not there before. This is the impression I have, and I hope I’m wrong.

You played an important role in ending the Lebanese Civil War in 1989. Is that a model for Syria?

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