Peace envoy Kofi Annan says the Syrian government has accepted his plan to halt the country’s bloodshed. His proposals include a mutual ceasefire and political dialogue. RT’s Middle East Correspondent Paula Slier has more.
Syria Accepts Peace Plan, Annan Describes Response as Positive
Syria has accepted Kofi Annan’s peace plan, his spokesman said, adding that the UN-Arab League envoy has described the response as positive.
“The Syrian government has written to the Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan accepting his six-point plan, endorsed by the United Nations Security Council,” spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said in a statement.
“He does of course view it as a positive development but the key is in the implementation,” AFP quoted Fawzi as saying.
“Mr Annan views this as an important initial step that could bring an end to the violence and the bloodshed, provide aid to the suffering, and create an environment conducive to a political dialogue that would fulfill the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people,” he said.
Annan has written to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad asking Damascus to “put its commitments into immediate effect”.
Annan’s plan calls for a UN-supervised halt to fighting, with the government pulling troops and heavy weapons out of protest cities, a daily two-hour humanitarian ceasefire and access to all areas affected by the fighting.
He also urged the release of people detained over the past year of the crisis.
“Mr Annan has stressed that implementation will be key, not only for the Syrian people, who are caught in the middle of this tragedy, but also for the region and the international community as a whole,” Fawzi said further.
“As the Syrian government acts on its commitments, Mr Annan will move urgently to work with all parties to secure implementation of the plan at all levels.”
The envoy also urged “key countries to support this development and help ensure its effective implementation.”
Annan is meeting Chinese leaders in Beijing Tuesday after visiting Russia over the weekend and obtaining Moscow’s full backing for his plan.
Russia, China Welcome Syria’s Acceptance of Annan’s Plan
MOSCOW/ BEIJING, – Russia has welcomed Syria’s acceptance of the plan of UN special envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, to find a peaceful solution in the country.
A statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said Annan’s plan, that was supported in the Security Council presidential statement issued on March 21st, provides for ending violence by all the parties in Syria under effective monitoring through a UN special mechanism, launching internal political dialogue and delivering humanitarian aid to the affected.
“We are convinced that this will provide an actual possibility for realizing the legitimate aspirations of all the Syrians with respecting the country’s sovereignty and independence and under collaborative support by the entire international community to Annan’s mission,” the statement added, stressing that this opportunity should not be wasted.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said it is of a great importance that the Syrian opposition groups follow in the government’s footsteps and accurately announce their acceptance of the Security Council-backed UN envoy’s proposal to resolve the crisis peacefully.
“It goes without saying,” the Ministry added, “that many things now hinge on the foreign players, particularly those able to practice a positive influence on the opposition figures.”
The statement continued that rather than dissenting and armed confrontation, a responsible stance seeking acceptable solutions for all in the course of an inclusive political process under Annan’s mediation is the thing to allow a halt to the bloodshed and violence, an end to the humanitarian agonies of the civilian citizens and ensuring the development of Syria in a democratic and stable manner.
China Hails Syrian Government’s Acceptance of Annan’s Plan
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei on Wednesday hailed the Syrian government’s acceptance of the six-point plan of the UN special envoy to Syria Kofi Annan.
The Chinese Xinhua news agency quoted Hong as saying in a press conference that his country had knowledge of the reports about the Syrian government’s writing to Annan on its acceptance of his six-point plan to halt the violence in the country.
He added that China believes the acceptance of the UN envoy’s plan will help enhance a political solution to the Syrian issue, noting that Beijing hopes the Syrian government and all the parties concerned will seize this important opportunity and support and cooperate with Annan’s mediation efforts so as to ensure effective implementation of the plan and boost the political solution process.