Annan wants international observers in Syria by Sunday
The envoy of the UN and the Arab League to Syria, Kofi Annan "decided to send a mission to Damascus "by next week" to discuss the terms of a compliance mechanism and international observation, said his spokesman, Ahmad Fawzi. "Mr. Annan decided to send a mission to Damascus to discuss the terms of a compliance mechanism and other practical steps to implement (...) some of his proposals, including an immediate end to violence and killings," said Fawzi.
On his part, the Syrian ambassador to the UN, Bashar Jaafari conveyed that Annan's team would arrive in Syria on Sunday. "I can assure you from my government that Syria wants the success of Mr. Annan's mission," he added.
Annan stated that so far the Syrian regime's responses to his proposals were "disappointing." He called on the UN Security Council to unite in order to pressure Damascus.
Addressing the Council via video-conference from Geneva, Mr. Annan said he "continued to talk despite disappointing responses so far" and that his "six-point proposal" remained on the table.
In a first reaction to the report of Mr. Annan, the French mission to the UN stressed the need to "remain vigilant towards the delaying tactics" of Damascus. "We will know soon if (Syria) wants to engage seriously or use the dialogue to continue to kill civilians," said the mission on Twitter.
British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, whose country holds the rotating Council presidency in March, told reporters that "all Council members promised to fully support Mr. Annan and his mission" and they agreed that "a united message would help its mission."
Asked about the terms of a possible cease-fire under international supervision, he recalled that London believes that the Syrian government must first stop firing.