Syria’s Bashar al-Assad has agreed to an April 10 deadline to partially implement UN-Arab League Syrian envoy Kofi Annan’s peace for Syria plan, the former UN secretary general told the Security Council.
Istanbul / NationalTurk – Kofi Annan implored the fifteen-nation security council to back the deadline for peace plan for Syria. If successful, a full ceasefire would come into effect within 48 hours of its implementation.
Un Syria envoy Kofi Annan also told the security council that it should seize the opportunity to potentially end the year-long Syrian conflict, stating the Syrian government was now on board, a UN diplomats told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
Kofi Annan as Syria Envoy : Peace in Syria entails more than a few tasks
Kofi Annan further asked security council members to ‘ start consideration of deployment of an observer mission with a broad and flexible mandate,’ a UN diplomat stated.
The peace plan would require an end to troop movements towards large urban centers in Syria, reducing the number of heavy weapons and an initial troop withdrawal, diplomats informed the agency.
Syrian government agrees Kofi Annan ‘s Syria peace plan
Previously, Damascus administration had declared it would not withdraw soldiers of Syrian army from towns and cities until ‘ peace and security’ were restored.
Syria’s Ambassador to the UN Bashar Ja’afari confirmed the Assad Syrian government had agreed to the deadline for partially implementing Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan. However, he demanded the Syrian opposition respond in equal measure.
‘ The Syrian government is committed but we are expecting Mr. Kofi Annan and some parties in the Security Council also to get the same kind of commitments from the opposition. A plan wouldn’t be successful unless everybody is committed to it,’ Al-Jazeera have cited the Syrian diplomat as stating.
Syrian Un ambassador lashes at USA, Turkey and Saudi Arabia
Jaafari also lashed out at the United States, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other governments that met in Istanbul over the weekend and committed to step up support for the armed opposition in Syria. The meeting of the “Friends of Syria” resulted in a pledge from Arab nations to provide $100 million to pay salaries for opposition fighters and a commitment from the Obama administration to provide “non-lethal” assistance, including communications equipment and night goggles, to help the rebels move about Syria undetected.
Earlier on Monday this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated “Ultimatums and artificial deadlines are rarely supportive to matters.”
While Russian FM Lavrov agreed to ‘ being friends with both sides in Syria,’ he noted that calls to halt the violence ‘ should be put to all sides of the barricades.’
While Russia and China have been criticized for vetoing two previous Security Council resolutions on Syria, Moscow has long accused certain members of the international community of taking sides in the conflict.
Lavrov said that ‘promises and intentions to deliver direct military and logistical support to the armed … opposition that were voiced in Istanbul unquestionably contradict the aims of a peaceful settlement to the civil conflict in Syria.’
The Russian FM also viewed the Friends of Syria decision to recognize the oppositional Syrian National Council as the ‘legitimate representative’ of all Syrians as counterproductive.
“When decisions are made to call one group the legitimate representatives of the Syrian people, one might jump to the conclusion that the other Syrians … are not legitimate,” Lavrov pointed out.
‘I think such an approach is dangerous and works against the efforts being put forward by Mr. Kofi Annan.’
Friends of Syria or Friends with benefits ?
During the 70-nation ‘Friends of Syria’ meeting in Istanbul this weekend, several Gulf States also members of the Arab League in attendance reassured to create a multimillion-dollar fund to finance Syrian rebel fighters, whome Syrian President Assad refers to as ‘ terrorists’ supported by Western countries, Arab League members and Turkey.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also promised more support to the Syrian rebels, while her Saudi counterpart stated ‘ the arming of the [Syrian] opposition is a duty.’