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UN diplomats say veteran Italian-Swedish diplomat Staffan de Mistura to be new UN Syria envoy

U.N. diplomats say veteran Italian-Swedish diplomat Staffan de Mistura has been chosen by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to replace Lakhdar Brahimi as the international peace envoy for Syria.

The diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of an expected announcement from Ban later Wednesday, said de Mistura will solely be a United Nations envoy — not the joint U.N.-Arab League envoy as Brahimi was — and will have an Arab deputy.

De Mistura recently served as deputy foreign minister in the Italian government headed by Mario Monti after a 40-year career with the United Nations.

The Swedish-born De Mistura worked for various U.N. agencies and served as the top U.N. envoy in Afghanistan in 2010-11 and in Iraq from 2007-09, and as the secretary-general's personal representative for southern Lebanon from 2001-04.