Conflict & Justice

Annan urges UN action on Syria, will return for talks


United Nations and Arab League special envoy to Syria Kofi Annan (C) arrives for a meeting with Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi (R) on March 8, 2012 at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo. Days ahead of his trip to Damascus, the former UN chief urged the Syrian opposition to cooperate to resolve the conflict that has left thousands dead in the past year.



UN-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan said he plans to return to Syria.

On Friday, Annan warned that the crisis could have a "serious impact" on regional security if the international community does not find a solution.

"The first objective is for all of us to end the violence and human rights abuses and the killings and get unimpeded access for humanitarian access to the needy" Annan said, reported the Associated Press.

The former United Nations secretary-general briefed the UN Security Council in New York from Geneva via video conference.

Reuters reported Annan said the stronger their message was in support of his efforts to negotiate a ceasefire, the more likely he was to succeed.

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He told reporters he had encouraged the council to speak with "one voice as we try to resolve the crisis in Syria" and thought discussions should continue as long they are "meaningful."

The body has been unable to agree on the terms of a resolution condemning the Syrian government. Russia and China have twice vetoed a UN security council resolution, saying it was unbalanced and demanded only the government, not the opposition, cease fighting.

Syria's Foreign Ministry said Friday that the government will continue its crackdown on the Syrian opposition but also will cooperate with Annan, according to the AP.

Kofi Annan called the Syrian crisis "much more complex" than Libya. Last weekend, he met with President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus but diplomats are skeptical the Syrian leader is serious about reaching a diplomatic solution.

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