Foreign Minister Lakhdar Brahimi is the special envoy to Syria for the United Nations and Arab League. Following Algeria's independence, he served his country as an ambassador, first to Egypt and then to the United Kingdom. As an Arab League special envoy, Brahimi brokered the Taef Agreement in 1989, which ended the civil war in Lebanon. Following retirement as foreign minister of Algeria in 1993, he went on to serve the U.N. with an emphasis on addressing conflict and post-conflict situations and working to improve the performance of U.N. peacekeeping. After the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, Brahimi led the U.N. mission to Afghanistan, and in 2004 traveled to Iraq as a special envoy of the secretary-general to help form an interim government. He is a member of The Elders, an eminent group of world leaders working to address difficult global challenges.