In an interview with BBC, United Nations special envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said that the 40 years of uninterrupted rule by President Bashar Assad’s family was “a little bit too long,” the first time he has taken a public position on the matter.
The comments may be relatively tame on the surface, but Brahimi and his predecessor Kofi Annan had both sought to avoid taking specific positions on what post-civil war Syria might look like in an attempt to focus on getting peace talks going.
Brahimi went on to criticize Assad for recent talk of reforms, saying that the time for such offers has passed and that the Syrian public wants a specific say in their own future instead of just getting whatever the regime chooses to offer.
Rebels were quick to embrace Brahimi’s comments, but while they style themselves as a reflection of the will of the Syrian public, their own ambitions to impose rule on the nation are unlikely to be any more welcomed.
In the end, Brahimi’s comments could make his position all the more difficult, while neither side is liable to be able to agree to his negotiations any more than they were before.
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