Syria: Annan Holding Out Hope (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gabe Kahn 04/10/12)
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UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan said Tuesday he believed it was too
soon to say a UN-backed peace plan he brokered to bring an end to
violence in Syria was dead.
“I believe it’s a bit too early to say that the plan has failed, the
plan is still on the table,” Annan told reporters in Turkey.
The former UN secretary general´s remarks came just hours before the
now-past deadline for Syria to implement the ceasefire plan. Annan
said Syrian forces had withdrawn from some areas but moved into
others not previously targeted.
“It’s a plan we’re all fighting to implement... it’s a plan the
Syrians have endorsed and from the comments made by the opposition,
they’re also prepared to go along with it if the government meets its
commitments to pull the troops out.”
Annan also rejected new demands by government of Syrian President
Bashar al-Assad. Over the weekend Syria’s foreign minister said
Damascus wanted guarantees from Annan that armed groups attacking its
troops would commit to a ceasefire.
“I believe there should be no preconditions for stopping violence.
That is something we need to do for the people and for the country
concerned,” Annan said.
“I had hoped that by now we would have been much further ahead along
the road to the government of Syria honoring its commitments and all
the parties beginning to take steps to end all violence.”
“We still have time between now and the 12th to stop the violence,”
The opposition Syrian National Council said it would provide the
written grantees demanded by Assad, but commanders with the rebel
Syria Free Army insisted they would only negotiate with international
Earlier on Tuesday Annan flew by helicopter over the massive refugee
camp in Kilis, situated right on the Turkish-Syrian border, where
9,000 Syrians are sheltering and where gunfire from Syria hit Turkish
staff and refugees on Monday, drawing a furious response from Ankara.
He later visited one of the first refugee camps to be set up in
Turkey last June at Yayladagi, talking with some of those sheltering
“To hear their stories, to hear how they came across, how they were
shot at, some with their children, was heart-wrenching. But I hope
that their courage, strength and patience will pay off soon,” he said.
Meanwhile, Syrian troops killed at least 31 civilians as shelling
continued in Homs, and near the Turkish border.
Around 25,000 Syrians have fled the violence and are sheltering in
Turkey, with hundreds crossing from Syria daily. A total of ten times
that number of Syrians are believed to have been displaced during
Assad´s 13-month crackdown.
UN Human Rights officials say at least 9,100 civilians have been
killed in the ongoing unrest.
However, local opposition activists say that Assad has killed at
least 1,000 in the past 8 days and that the number is, in reality,
much higher. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 04/10/12)
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