Syria’s Other Casualty: Europeans’ Middle East Mediation Role?

Staffan de Mistura, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, briefs the Security Council, New York, July 29, 2015 (U.N. photo by Loey Felipe).
Staffan de Mistura, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, briefs the Security Council, New York, July 29, 2015 (U.N. photo by Loey Felipe).
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Do Europeans still make good peacemakers? Europe’s militaries have been in long-term decline since the end of the Cold War. But the continent’s diplomats and politicians retain a prominent role in international crisis management. This is nowhere more obvious than in the Middle East and North Africa. The United Nations currently has seven top-level envoys working on conflicts in the region. Five of them are Europeans. The U.N. has, for example, decided that a German official will replace a Spanish diplomat as its envoy on Libya. Staffan de Mistura, who holds double Italian-Swedish nationality, still has the ugly task of […]

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