News24

US doubts Syrian ceasefire plan

2012-04-11 22:41

New York - The US envoy to the United Nations said on Wednesday that even if Syria keeps to a promised ceasefire it will not be enough to comply with the peace plan of UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.

Syria's promise to Annan "is not and cannot in our judgement be construed as compliance" with the Annan peace plan, ambassador Susan Rice told reporters. She added that Syria's commitments "have little if any credibility" because of past broken promises.

Syria has announced that it will respect a ceasefire from Thursday 03:00 GMT as called for by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.

But it has reserved the right to "respond proportionately to any attacks carried out by armed terrorist groups against civilians, government forces or public and private property", Annan's spokesperson said.

Despite the pledge, the United States and its European allies are doubtful that President Bashar al-Assad will end the conflict that the UN says has left more than 9 000 dead in the past 13 months.

Syria has already failed to keep a Tuesday deadline to withdraw its troops and heavy guns from population centres.

"Fighting is still raging as we speak reflecting what has been an intensification of the violence the Syrian government has pursued since April 1 when it committed to cease all hostile action," Rice said.

"Its commitments therefore have little, if any, credibility... given that track record. We will await with interest the Syrian regime's posture tomorrow [Thursday] ," the envoy added.

Annan is to brief the Security Council on Thursday on Syria's compliance with the six point plan agreed to by Assad.