Syria accepts Annan plan, Assad in Homs
Damascus agreed Tuesday to the Annan plan to end the political crisis in Syria, according to a spokesperson for the UN and Arab envoy. This plan includes a cessation of violence by all parties, the delivery of humanitarian aid and the release of all detained persons.
China called on "all parties in Syria to participate in mediation efforts" of Kofi Annan. The Former Secretary-General arrived in Beijing Tuesday from Moscow after getting the support of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for his peace plan.
"We hope all parties in Syria can participate in the mediation efforts of Kofi Annan, to create the conditions for a political settlement of the Syrian issue," said spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Hong Lei .
Kofi Annan met Tuesday in Beijing the Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, according to his spokesperson. In the afternoon, he was to be received by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. "I cannot do this work alone, I need help and support and advice from a country like yours, and that's why I'm here," said Annan in China.
Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar Assad was in Homs (center) Tuesday, where he visited the district of Baba Amr, a rebel stronghold pounded for weeks before being taken on March 1 by the army, reported Syria's public television. "Right now, President Assad inspects the neighborhood of Baba Amr in Homs," said the television, adding that images of this visit would be disseminated later. Baba Amr and other districts of Homs were the subject of incessant shelling for weeks by the Syrian authorities to subdue the protest.
After the takeover by government forces on March 1, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has negotiated for several days to enter this area to deliver urgent aid.