Kofi Annan to be named as UN/Arab League special envoy to Syria

Former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan is to be appointed as the UN/Arab League special envoy to war-stricken Syria.

The role will include coordinating security issues and ensuring the safe and effective delivery of humanitarian aid.

Finnish diplomat Martti Ahtisaari and Kofi Annan were considered the most suitable candidates. It has been revealed that this afternoon the former secretary general will be named as the diplomat taking the post.

Although there is no doubt that Annan has a wealth of experience, and made some remarkable achievements during his time as head of the UN, his experience in the Middle East is relatively low.

His notable dealings with the Middle East include his accusation that the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the U.S. and the U.K. was illegal, and his clashes with the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over Iran's nuclear programme and an Iranian exhibition of cartoons that mocked the holocaust.

More recently, in 2011, Annan was being considered as a potential mediator by former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Annan had met with Gaddafi many times over the years, a working relationship which may call into question his role as special envoy to Syria.

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