Secretary-General Kofi Annan today appointed his personal envoy focusing on containing tensions along the line marking the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon to be his Deputy Special Representative for Iraq.
Staffan de Mistura, a native of Sweden, has been Mr. Annan's Personal Representative for Southern Lebanon for the last four years and will retain that function until his successor in Beirut is named. During his tenure, Mr. de Mistura also was instrumental in launching and coordinating a highly successful demining operation in southern Lebanon.
Mr. de Mistura joins the Secretary-General's Special Representative, Ashraf Qazi, in Iraq with prior experience in the country, having served there as the UN Humanitarian Coordinator from March through August 1997.
The move is the latest involving Mr. Annan's Middle East team. Last month, Terje Roed-Larsen ended his tenure as the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process to become the Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the implementation of a Security Council resolution calling for the exit of foreign troops from Lebanon.
No successor to Mr. Roed-Larsen has been named.