Annan urges 'consequences' for Syria

2012-07-11 22:27
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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New York - International envoy Kofi Annan urged the UN Security Council on Wednesday to send a message to the Syrian government and the opposition that there will be "consequences" if they don't comply with demands for an immediate cease-fire, UN diplomat said.

Russia and China, key allies of Syrian President Bashar Assad and veto-wielding council members, have blocked repeated attempts by the United States and its European allies to even threaten "consequences" - a diplomatic code word for sanctions.

The diplomat, speaking spoke on condition of anonymity because Annan's videoconference briefing from Geneva was at a closed session, said that the council should insist on implementation of its resolutions including Annan's six-point peace plan.

That plan calls for an immediate cease-fire and withdrawal of heavy weapons from populated areas by the Syrian government to be followed by an opposition cessation of hostilities.

The UN sent a 300-strong unarmed observer mission for 90 days to oversee the cessation of violence and monitor implementation of the Annan plan. It was forced to withdraw from key conflict areas because of the escalating fighting and the council must decide what to do about extending its mandate which expires on July 20.

Another UN diplomat said UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous told the council the ceiling of 300 observers should remain and the UNshould when they should be deployed. A third diplomat said the peacekeeping department plans to temporarily withdraw half the peacekeepers, placing them on 48-hour standby to return if conditions change.

- AP
Read more on:    un security council  |  kofi annan  |  syria  |  syria conflict  |  uprisings
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