Annan: Syrian peace plan still alive
The international envoy to Syria Kofi Annan on Tuesday deplored the attitude of the Syrian regime, which deployed its troops into new fields of action despite its promise to stop all forms of violence. However, he said he felt that his plan to end the crisis is not dead. "They [the Syrian army] indicate that there have been withdrawals [...]. But we have indications from other sources they moved to other places that were not covered before," Annan said during a press conference Tuesday after visiting a refugee camp on the Syrian Turkish border.
Kofi Annan also said that violence has to stop in Syria "without preconditions". "Again I ask the Syrian government and other Syrian parties to cease all violence in accordance to the plan and I think there should be no preconditions to end the violence," said the envoy of the UN and Arab League.
According to activists, the Syrian army bombed several towns Tuesday. But Annan said that his plan was not dead. "It is too early to say that the plan failed. The plan is on the table, and we fight for its implementation," he said at midday, before adding: "The plan has was applied according to the program that we had defined, but that does not mean it can not be applied. "" What is needed is the end of violence, unrestricted access of humanitarian bodies and possibly a return to the (negotiations) table."
Meanwhile, in a letter to the Security Council, Kofi Annan lamented that the Syrian regime has still not given any real "signal of peace." In his four-page letter, he asked that Damascus "fundamentally changes the course of action" and alters its military indisputable. The days before the deadline of April 10 "should have been an opportunity for the Syrian government to send a strong political signal of peace," said Kofi Annan. But, he added, "within five days, it became clear that such a signal has yet been given."
The government of President Bashar al-Assad must "seize the opportunity now to make a fundamental change of course of action," said the mediator. "It is essential," he writes, "in the next 48 hours to come we will see signs of an immediate change."