Shaikh Mohammad Al Sabah Image Credit: AFP

Manama: Kuwait’s former foreign minister Shaikh Mohammad Al Sabah could be appointed the next United Nations-Arab League envoy for Syria if reports that Lakhdar Brahimi is quitting the post are confirmed, a local daily said.

“Amid reports that Lakhdar Brahimi is planning to resign, there were on Tuesday accounts that former deputy prime minister and foreign minister Shaikh Mohammad Al Sabah will be selected by the United Nations and the Arab League as the new envoy to Syria,” Al Seyassah reported on Wednesday.

The daily did not identify its sources, but said “informed sources” stressed that “the selection of a well-known Kuwaiti figure for this position may help resolve the Syrian crisis thanks to the moderate and constructive status of Kuwaiti, the readiness of the various parties to accept a Kuwaiti role and the reputation of Kuwait in diplomatic and international forums.”

Rumours about Brahimi resigning intensified after Mokhtar Lamani, the head of Brahimi’s Damascus office, has submitted a request to the United Nations to be relieved of his duties. Lamani, a Moroccan national, was appointed to represent Brahimi in Damascus in September 2012.

Shaikh Mohammad, a Harvard University PhD graduate, was Kuwait’s ambassador to the United States from 1993 until February 2001 before becoming foreign minister in 2005. He left the post in 2011.

He was this week given in New York City the Robert and JoAnn Bendetson Public Diplomacy Award by the Institute for Global Leadership, Tufts University, for his diplomatic career.

The University established the Award in 2011, under the leadership of the Institute for Global Leadership, to recognise global leaders who have dedicated their efforts to fostering the development of a united and peaceful future for all peoples.

Shaikh Mohammad received the award during the Institute’s 28th annual international Norris and Margery Bendetson Symposium, held from February 27 to March 2, that focused on the future of the Middle East and North Africa, Kuwait News Agency reported.

Brahimi, an Arab League official from 1984 to 1991 and the Algerian minister for foreign affairs from 1991 until 1993, was appointed in August 2012 as the United Nations and Arab League Special Envoy to Syria.