New UN envoy gloomy at Syria task

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The new UN-Arab League envoy on Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, has given a deeply pessimistic view of the task ahead of him, as he takes up his new post.

Speaking to the BBC, the Algerian described his mission as "nearly impossible".

Mr Brahimi, a seasoned UN diplomat, was appointed after his predecessor, Kofi Annan, resigned, saying he no longer saw a way to fulfil his mission.

Fighting in Syria has escalated, despite a truce mediated by Mr Annan.

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