Syria meetings agree on transitional government
An agreement on the principles and guidelines of a transition phase in Syria was achieved in Geneva on Saturday during the meeting of the Task Force on Syria, said special envoy Kofi Annan. He read the final communiqué which says that the transitional government could include members of the current government.
Participants also "identified the steps and actions by the parties to ensure the full implementation of the six-point plan and the 2042 and 2043 resolutions by the UN Security Council." This six-point plan adopted by the Security Council in April included among others a cease-fire as of April 12. It has never been fully implemented and respected.
"The transitional governing body will exercise executive powers. It will include members of the government and opposition and other groups. It must be formed on the basis of mutual consent," said Mr. Annan.
"I doubt the Syrians will choose people with blood on their hands to lead them," said Annan in a press conference.
Asked about the future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the former UN chief stressed that the "record is clear on the guidelines and principles to assist the parties as they move through the transition period and establish a transitional government and conducting the necessary changes. " The future of Bashar al-Assad "is their business," he said.
The Action Group on Syria, made by Annan, brings together foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the Security Council - the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain – as well as from Arab countries (Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar), Turkey and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs of the European Union.
Earlier in his opening speech, Annan sent a stern warning to the participants. The Syrians "will be the biggest victims, and their deaths will not only be the result of acts of killers, but your inability to overcome your divisions," he said.
"History will judge us harshly if we fail to take the right direction today. The risks of failing to work together are obvious, and the benefits to follow the same path are clear," he added.