A spokesman says Canadian diplomat Mokhtar Lamani will head the Damascus office for the Lakhdar Brahimi, the new U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria.

The spokesman for the envoy, Ahmad Fawzi, said Friday that Lamani, a Canadian national of Moroccan origin, is well suited for the job having served as a special Arab League envoy to Iraq and as the Organization of the Islamic Conference's U.N. ambassador in New York from 1998 to 2002.

Brahimi took over as envoy to Syria this month, succeeding Kofi Annan who resigned in frustration over failed efforts to end a civil war that activists say has claimed 23,000 to 26,000 lives.