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UN/Arab League envoy: Syria not cooperating, Security Council needs to take war seriously

The joint U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria on Friday gave the Security Council a grim assessment of the Syrian civil war, saying that Damascus is completely uncooperative in negotiations.

"With the Syrians, I got nowhere," Lakhdar Brahimi told reporters after the closed-door briefing.

Since last year, Brahimi has been promoting a peace plan that would call for a transitional government in which Syrian President Bashar Assad would step aside. Damascus has shown no appetite for discussing Assad's resignation.

Brahimi also chided the Security Council for its ongoing deadlock over the war. Western and Arab nations blame the conflict on Assad's government. Russia insists on assigning equal blame to the Syrian rebel opposition, and has used it veto, along with China, to block draft council resolutions.

"On the Security Council, with the Americans and the Russians, we made some progress but it is too little," Brahimi said.

"If they really believe that they are in charge of looking after peace and security, there is no time for them to lose to really take this question more seriously than they have until now," he said.

Brahimi denied rumors he was resigning, capping a week of widespread reports in the Arab world that he was quitting in frustration, or dumping his affiliation with the Arab League, which has officially recognized the Syrian opposition forces as the legitimate government.

Brahimi assumed the U.N.-Arab League envoy role last year after former U.N. chief Kofi Annan quit in frustration.

"I haven't resigned," Brahimi said. "Every day I wake up, I think I should resign. But I haven't so far. One day, perhaps, one day I will resign, and I assure you, you will find out."