From The Insider:
You can’t misunderstand Gen. Robert Mood, even if you tried. The veteran Norwegian senior officer, who is a veteran of several UN field assignments, has just been designated as Chief of UN Military Observers in Syria. A talented soldier who is similarly a shrewd diplomat, General Mood has served in UNIFIL, Lebanon and Kosovo. The impression he made there was of someone who understands every side’s point of view and presents a consensus. That qualified him to return to Oslo as chief of staff of his country’s armed forces. He knows Syria very well. He was the Chief Ismac (Israeli Syria Mixed Armistice Commission) Observers Mission from 2009 to 2011. That’s a year ago. At that time, he told the Beirut Daily Star that “it would be counter-productive if you acted like a bull in a china shop — trying to impose your will. That’s counter-productive.” One of his assets is his reputation — straightforward, professional, and a straight talker. Charming but no-nonsense. His strongest point lies in the warm friendships he had established with senior Syrian army officers. That may prove crucial. Read the post on UNForum.com.
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Samir Sanbar was assistant secretary-general for the UN Department of Public Information from 1994 to 1998 and was a special envoy of the UN secretary-general in 1993.