UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- The deputy UN secretary- general, Jan Eliasson, said here Tuesday that the joint UN/Arab League representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, is going to be based in Cairo, Egypt, beginning next week to promote his good offices on the Syrian crisis.
Eliasson made the statement at a press conference here to brief the press on the just-concluded General Debate of the UN General Assembly, which began a week ago.
"Lakhdar Brahimi will work from Cairo from next week onward so that he is in proximity of the region and he will work very closely with his Egyptian colleagues. We take that seriously," he said.
Brahimi, who has been in New York over the past week, met with high-level officials attending the General Debate. The former Algerian foreign minister and UN trouble shooter used to base his work at UN Headquarters here.
Brahimi is tasked with brokering a diplomatic solution to the conflict after replacing former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who stepped down as the UN-Arab League joint special envoy in August in frustration after his six-point peace plan went up in smoke due to incessant violence.
There have been a number of proposals from various quarters to end the 19-month of violence to grip Syria.
Asked about Iran's role for a solution of the crisis in Syria, Eliasson replied, "They have a crucial role," but added, " Lakhdar Brahimi, of course, the secretary-general (Ban Ki-moon) and I and my colleagues, take the initiative of the president of Egypt (Mohamed Morsi) very seriously," he said.
Last month, Morsi proposed formation of a Syria contact group of Arabia, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
"Brahimi is taking this work seriously," said Eliasson. "He is in contact with them and we are very glad also .. that one takes into account Lakhdar Brahimi's central role. He is after all the representative of the United Nations. He is the representative of the League of Arab States."
"One issue which one should always avoid and I think, from my own experience as mediator, is that one should avoid forum shopping so that the different parties can play out one against the other," the deputy secretary-general said. "There is coordination going on."
Eliasson also told reporters the importance of the annual general debate goes beyond nearly 200 speeches from heads of state and government and high ranking ministers.
He said a lot of high-level meetings took place on the sidelines between those officials, both public and private meetings, something that couldn't be done elsewhere.
"This is a very important meeting place. The meeting place," he said.