Annan 'frustrated' over Syria killings

2012-06-02 08:04
Beirut - International peace envoy Kofi Annan said on Friday he was "frustrated" over the bloodshed in Syria and urged President Bashar al-Assad to take bold steps to speed up an end to the violence.

"Bold action has to be taken by President Assad in Syria to put real energy into the implementation of the six-point peace plan," Annan said after talks in Beirut with top Lebanese officials.

Annan, on a regional tour of Syria's neighbours after talks earlier this week in Damascus with Assad, said he was "frustrated over the violence" in Syria, where last week 108 people were slaughtered in the town of Houla.

"We are all impatient and frustrated over the violence, over the killings. I am frustrated even more maybe than most of you," said Annan, who brokered a truce that has been violated daily since 12 April.

"I really want to see things move much faster than they have done," said the former UN chief, also calling on the international community to "intensify its efforts" to help end 15 months of violence in Syria.

But he also struck a note of optimism, telling reporters in Beirut that the Syria crisis was "not something that can go on forever".

Up to 300 unarmed UN observers have deployed in Syria since the putative ceasefire went into effect as part of Annan's six-point peace plan, which also stipulated that the army must pull out of towns and cities.

Monitors say more than 13 400 people have been killed across Syria since an anti-regime uprising erupted in March 2011, including nearly 2 300 since 12 April.

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