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Diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi speaks with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter (not pictured) during a joint news conference in Khartoum in this May 27, 2012 file photo. The veteran Algerian diplomat is expected to be named to replace Kofi Annan as the U.N.-Arab League joint special envoy for Syria barring a last-minute change, diplomats said on August 10, 2012

Former Algerian foreign minister Lakhdar Brahimi is to be named as the new United Nations and Arab League peace envoy to Syria in place of Kofi Annan, diplomats said Thursday.

An official announcement of the appointment of the 78-year-old Mr. Brahimi is expected to be made early next week, diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because negotiations over the appointment are continuing.

Mr. Annan said last week he was leaving his post because of what he said was the lack of international support for his efforts to end the 17-month-old Syria conflict in which activists say more than 20,000 people have been killed.

Mr. Brahimi was a UN envoy in Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001 attacks and then in Iraq after the 2003 invasion.

He is being brought out of retirement to represent the United Nations and the Arab League in a diplomatic push to end the slaughter in fighting between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and anti-regime rebels.