Q: Why did Lakhdar Brahimi resign at this time, and what does it signal for the prospects of finding a settlement to the Syrian conflict?
The resignation of Lakhdar Brahimi doesn’t come as a complete surprise. He and those around him had been indicating that he might retire from this position soon, largely because his tireless efforts over the past two years have been stymied and the Geneva II conference ended in a disappointing failure. He laid a lot of the blame on the Assad regime, which is becoming more entrenched after recent battleground victories, especially in Homs, and the recently announced presidential election. And the collapse of any semblance of U.S.-Russian cooperation, after recent events in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, added another layer of paralysis in diplomatic efforts. So it’s not surprising that he would ask to be relieved of this duty at this time.