Annan, Assad deal to be put to rebels

2012-07-09 22:22

Damascus - International envoy Kofi Annan said he agreed with President Bashar Assad on Monday on a new political "approach" to end Syria's 16-month-old conflict that he would put to the rebels.

Stepping up efforts to halt the carnage which monitors say has cost more than 17 000 lives, the UN-Arab League envoy was reportedly to travel on to Iran, Syria's close ally.

"We discussed the need to end the violence and ways and means of doing so. We agreed an approach which I will share with the armed opposition," Annan said after meeting Assad in Damascus.

The former UN chief said he had a "constructive" meeting with Assad, on his third such mission for talks on his six-point peace plan for Syria since he was appointed in February.

"I had constructive and candid talks with President Assad," he told reporters at a Damascus hotel, echoing Syrian foreign ministry spokesperson Jihad Makdissi who termed the meeting "constructive and good".

Makdissi also said via Twitter that Assad would hold a separate meeting with Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem.

Al-Watan newspaper, which is close to the government, said the Annan-Assad talks focused on the results of the Geneva meeting at the end of June of an international contact group on Syria.

They discussed means "to implement the results of the meeting ... on forming a transitional government in Syria that groups government and opposition representatives without mention of Assad's departure."

World powers at the meeting agreed a plan for a transition which did not make an explicit call for Assad to quit power, although the West and the opposition made clear it saw no role for him in a unity government.

US is part of conflict

The meetings came as at least 20 people were killed across Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, and a day after nearly 100 people died in violence.

The opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) slammed Annan's decision to meet Assad, saying thousands have been killed in the country despite an April ceasefire that is a key point of the envoy's plan.

Ahead of his trip to Damascus, Annan, whose military observers in Syria have been grounded due to escalating violence, admitted his peace blueprint has so far failed to stem the bloodshed, in remarks published by French newspaper Le Monde.

He also expressed frustration that while Moscow and Iran are mentioned by some as stumbling blocks to peace, "little is said about other countries which send arms, money, and have a presence on the ground."

And, in an defiant interview late on Sunday, Assad told German public broadcaster ARD that many countries were undermining Annan's initiative.

The United States is "part of the conflict. They offer the umbrella and political support to those gangs to... destabilise Syria," said the embattled Syrian leader.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Syria needed dialogue between the regime and opposition rather than foreign intervention to ensure a lasting peace.

Putin spoke only hours after prominent Syrian opposition leader and intellectual Michel Kilo held talks in Moscow with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The Observatory, a monitoring group based in Britain, estimates that 5 898 people have been killed since the Annan-brokered truce was announced.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, for his part, has accused the United States and its allies of opposing Assad's regime with the goal of dominating the Middle East and propping up Israel.

  • ryan.a.smith.3958 - 2012-07-09 23:31

    unless the Annan/Assad deal includes hanging Assad from a pole by his neck, I don't see much point in putting it to the rebels.

  • Tommo - 2012-07-09 23:59

    Annan is waisting his time. This will never work.

  • fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-10 01:28

    For close on eleven months unarmed, peaceful demonstrations were taking place across Syria. Like his father did twenty or so years ago, Assad responded by killing thousands, with sniper-fire, and detaining, torturing and raping tens of thousands more.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-07-10 09:44

      Ba'athist Party , makes the old NP look like charming liberals .

      rude.awakning - 2012-07-11 06:17

      @ allcovered............, one could say the same about the ruling parties of the US, Brittian, France, Israel, Zimbabwe, Argentinia, hell just about every country in the world including somalia!

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-10 02:50

    For FIFTY YEARS, the opposition demanded to talk to this illegitimate regime. Daddy assad than murdered 20 000 Syrians opposed to his rule, and his psychopathic son, is doing his best to better that figure, and has now in 16 months , murdered 17 000 !!! There is a better chance the pope will be wearing Levi's, than that there will be ever any talks between assad and the opposition. And to Fidel and this Patrick; you are so confusing !! You been saying continuously, there is (hardly) any opposition in Syria!! Now, WHO has Annan and assad got in mind for negotiations ?????

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-10 12:45

      To the foreign powers that want to destabilise Syria, they are the real opposition. They oppose Syria's alliance with Shi'ite Iran and Russia. They oppose Syria's relationship with China. They oppose Syria'stance towards Israel re Golan Heights. They oppose Syria's influence in Lebanon. That is the real opposition towards Syria!

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-10 06:37

    Which rebels would that be as these terrorists are a rabble of disorganised mercenaries, reporting to different masters. Perhaps the reason why these terrorists are refusing to negotiate is because they are just too weak and are looking to buy time for themselves by prolonging the crisis. There is no way that these terrorists can shoot their way to power and so yes, a negotiated settlement has to be the best option. In war you negotiate with the enemy however bad they are, if you want peace that is.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-10 08:47

      gaddafi called them 'rebels' and 'rats' This assad calls them 'terrorists' In any country in the world, they are called 'OPPOSITION' ""There is no way that these terrorists can shoot their way to power"" Well.....,THAT is how daddy assad got to power !!!!! In a war, governments, negotiate. Oppositions, DON'T negotiate with their dictator. They have a common DEMAND; OUT with their tyrant, NOTHING LESS !! It is NONNEGOTIABLE !!!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-10 09:24

      It's not negotiable to you because you don't have to do anything other than clicking post comment.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-10 09:51

      Your comments are silly and irrelevant !!

      Stille - 2012-07-10 11:33

      "There is no way that these terrorists can shoot their way to power" - The anc did. Point?

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-10 11:57

      Well, I must have missed the ANC guerillas driving tanks into the Union Building. Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeatedly talk bollocks about it. Perhaps you should go sit in the corner and think everything through?

      ricky.hammer.92 - 2012-07-10 12:40

      Silly comparison Stillewaters. anc couldn't punch themselves out of a paper bag. Very good at murdering civilians though. These rebels are at least fighting like men.

  • langa.kumalo - 2012-07-10 11:50

    Long live president Assad long live!!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-10 12:03

      Neither side is worthy of your support!

  • bobo.jane.1 - 2012-07-10 14:20

    Syria about an hour ago Russia has sent a naval flotilla of warships led by an anti-submarine destroyer to its naval base at the Syrian port of Tartus, the Interfax news agency reported on Tuesday. The Admiral Chabanenko and three landing craft have left their home port of Severomorsk in the Arctic Circle on their way to the Mediterranean where they will be also joined by the Russian patrol ship Yaroslav Mudry, a military source told the agency.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-10 14:30

      Syria has been an ally of Russia since 1956 when Britain-France-Israel invaded Egypt, and the then USSR sent its army to Syria. USSR airforce based in Syria took part in the defence of Cairo. Sensing a wider war Eisenhower asked Britain and France to back off. Putin will not let Syria fall to terrorists who might jeopardise Russian interests in the region.

      bobo.jane.1 - 2012-07-10 14:59

      Do you think history to repeat itself ? Back then.. "The Soviet Union began to issue ominous threats about coming to Egypt's aid. A dangerous situation developed quickly, one that the Eisenhower administration hoped to defuse before it turned into a Soviet-U.S. confrontation. Though the United States sternly warned the Soviet Union to stay out of the situation, Eisenhower also pressured the British, French, and Israeli governments to withdraw their troops. They eventually did so in late 1956 and early 1957." I trust both the US and Russia know what they are doning otherwise this could be the start.

      ryan.a.smith.3958 - 2012-07-10 23:05

      Fidel you seem to know some facts, I will give you that. but its your logic and thinking that is pretty f*cked up

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-10 23:25

      He distorts facts by holding an immature core belief that the West is evil. There's virtually no value in his analysis, as you and many others have discovered.

      rude.awakning - 2012-07-11 06:08

      fred, the distorted facts and immature believe that the west has the unchallenged right to force their brand of democracy on any country they so choose, is coming from your camp! Your camp has a dillusional believe that the west has an obligation to spend billions of dollars/euros to bring about regime changes when they deem it needed, Not once was it reported that citizens of a country requested the UN or the Hague to intervene in their domestic political situation to improve their lot! According to international laws , all countries including those ruled by arabs and africans have the right to sovereignity, the same right that the USA, Britian, France etc demand that other countries respect and that they are prepared to die for! So its hard not to see their actions as seeking to further their own interest! @ fidel, salute commarade, once again you struck a sensitive nerve that unsettled the opposite camp!!! The truth shall prevail!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • bobo.jane.1 - 2012-07-10 14:28

    I really think we don`t know half of what is really going on...but this situation doesn`t look good at all.

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