Reconciling the Western and Russian positions and mediating between other significant players such as Iran and Qatar proved impossible.
“It’s very sad that I leave this position and leave Syria behind in such a bad state. I have absolutely no doubt that you will continue, as you have to do everything that is humanly possible,” he said, standing alongside the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
He will officially quit his post at the end of May, more than a year after the Algerian diplomat indicated he would step down. The failure of peace talks in Geneva between the Syrian government and opposition, and President Bashar al-Assad’s decision to stand again for re-election next month proved to be the final straws.
Tunisia’s former foreign minister Kamel Morjane is thought to be the frontrunner to replace him.