The new peace envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, says talking about a military option is akin to admitting diplomatic failure.

Brahimi, a strong-willed longtime U.N. diplomat and former Algerian foreign minister, says he's "deeply honored and humbled" to be chosen to replace former Kofi Annan as envoy.

Speaking to The Associated Press by telephone from Paris, Brahimi said "I realize it's an extremely complicated and very, very difficult mission."

He said he hopes military intervention isn't necessary.

His first steps will be to go to New York and then Cairo in the coming days.

The United Nations announced his appointment Friday. Annan announced he would resign on Aug. 31 as joint U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria, after failing to broker a cease-fire as the country descended into civil war.