Annan raises 'grave concern' over Syria

2012-03-10 22:56

New York - International envoy Kofi Annan expressed "grave concern" to Syria's President Bashar Assad on Saturday over the government's deadly crackdown, the UN said, adding the men will meet again on Sunday.

The former UN secretary general "put several proposals on the table regarding stopping the violence and the killing, access for humanitarian agencies and the ICRC, release of detainees, and the start of an inclusive political dialogue," the United Nations said.

It gave no details of the proposals, but the UN and International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) have made repeated pleas for access to the cities where the UN says more than 7 500 people have died in the past year.

'Candid' talks

Annan, on his first trip to Damascus since being named joint envoy by the UN and Arab League, "expressed grave concern at the situation in Syria and urged the president to take concrete steps to end the current crisis," said the UN statement.

The envoy and Syrian president will meet again on Sunday, the statement added.

Talks went ahead as the Syrian army pursued its offensive against opponents, storming the rebel city of Idlib, according to rights group monitors.

Annan described his first talks with Assad as "candid and comprehensive".

He went on to meet "opposition leaders and young activists, as well as prominent businessmen and businesswomen," the statement said.

Annan will go on from Damascus to Doha, Qatar on Sunday.

UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos left Damascus on Friday after a three day visit when she went to the city of Homs and said much of it had been "devastated". She also made proposals to seek more access to Syrian cities.

  • Meshack Letswalo - 2012-03-10 23:18

    Kofi Annan has been expressing "grave concerns" all his diplomatic life and achieved nothing. Iraq war was started during his watch and all he could ever do was to express grave concern. Talk about Uncle Tom!

      Michael - 2012-03-11 11:49

      I think you are a bit harsh with that one Meshack. Keeping the Bush dynasty under control would have been a daunting if not impossible task for the Secretary General. Can still picture that sincere gentleman Colin Powell and his body language as he was presenting the embarrassing false evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to the UN.

  • Fred - 2012-03-11 00:15

    Next stop Moscow and Beijing. With the space they've given Assad, the killing will continue, until Assad is removed by his own political and military partners who are defecting. In the meantime thousands more are likely to die, tens of thousands more suffer, and Syrian neighborhoods demolished by this cold-blooded non-leader.

      Fidel - 2012-03-11 13:42

      To claim Assad runs Syria single handedly and no one else does is ridiculous. But then we always need that one single evil figure we can all despise to justify murdering everyone else.

      Anthony - 2012-03-11 15:32

      Wrong again!!!!! NOBODY, is suggesting that this assad is running Syria single handedly, but he is the head of of family of CRIMINAL THUGS, which control the goverment. A government that consists of more assad family members, and close friends !!

      Fred - 2012-03-13 06:32

      It's a figure of speech, Patrick the same one you've used coutnless times in your anti-West OCD rantings.

  • Michael - 2012-03-11 11:59

    Hmmm! Off to Qatar! Now there is an interesting country - owned by one family since the 1850's! Wonder why its so interesting for Kofi in this Syrian picture? Must be that its 300,000 people are the worlds richest (per capita GDP) and that the USA has a major military base there. Maybe its all lies eh Freddie!

      Anthony - 2012-03-11 12:23

      Morning Michael, It is Anthony here, Last nite I asked you a very simple question re Syria; "Say that your friends in Syria, wanted to change their government from one run by a corrupt and violent family dynasty, to ANY kind of government, but without these assads; WHAT WOULD YOU SUGGEST THEY DO !!! Not to answer , in my eyes, you will be a coward, and your posts, nothing more than , silly anti Western crap !!!!!

      Anthony - 2012-03-11 15:44

      It is soo very lousy , for day after day, week after week, month after month, to critcize the Syrian opposition, without making even the smallest suggestion, what they should do, to oppose their government , and to make an end to being governed by a corrupt violent family , who controls their lives. They want the same freedom as you, that you so eager abuse !!!!!! It shows your comments are hollow, without any substance, and are merely used to spew out your silly childish anti Western garbage !!!!!

      Fred - 2012-03-11 16:46

      What's your point?

      Michael - 2012-03-11 18:31

      The answer is easy Anthony . The strategy they have at the present of trying to fight against him from within densely populated urban areas is a kind of suicide. They should use the considerable diplomatic leverage they now have to call his bluff under close monitoring by the UN and Arab league. Lay down the weapons and confront around a table. The majority will vote and vote him out.It might just be amazing what will happen. Otherwise many thousands more will die as acknowledged by your friend Freddie earlier today. all the name calling, media gut wrenching etc will not do the trick ,that much is obvious -Damn, we are in month twelve and you two are still refusing to admit wrong strategy!!!!!

      Michael - 2012-03-11 18:34

      Whats the point Freddie? Are you just dull ? Why don't the Qataries spend some of their undoubted influence that they use to manipulate world affairs on promoting a peaceful resolution to the problem. This tiny state plays a major role in funding the rebellion but doesn't give a damn about the victims.

      Anthony - 2012-03-11 19:03

      @Michael, NOW, it is too late, one cannot expect an oppostion to go and sit around a table, with someone who is responsible for the death of thousands of their members. That would be an insane request. For over 40 years (FORTY YEARS) this opposition has asked this family to sit down and discuss a way forward. For 40 years ( FORTY YEARS ) the answer from this family was, " in this case we will KILL you !!!" AND made their threats true !!! There is ONLY, one way forward; OUT WITH THESE assads. Like in Libya, after the departure of this tyrant, WITHIN 24 HOURS, MOST OF THE KILLING WILL STOP!!! Is that not what you want ??? Tunesia has offered him asylum, I m sure he has stashed away a few billion dollars,stolen from the people, so let him go there, for the sake of the Syrian people. But you know, this will NEVER happen, dictators don't think in giving up their power they got through birthright!!! But, my question was; 'What would you have suggested to anyone Syrian, ""PRIOR"" to this civil war, to let the voices of the opposition heard. Because THAT is the crux of the problem. THAT is where ALL this violence stems from. Because there is NO outlet for the opposition. So, let me try again; WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE SUGGESTED THE OPPOSITION TO DO ???????

      Michael - 2012-03-11 19:48

      When you learn to address others with some respect then you might be entitled to a civil reply Anthony. You and Fred should long have been removed from this site as the words debate and discuss are foreign concepts to you. Despite you insults I answered you ,but now you decide to amend the question!!! I have looked hard but could not find the word PRIOR in the question. You should learn that it is poor form and bad manners to shout with capitalized letters. By the way the Michael last night was someone else, I never answer with one liners. When you have decided to behave yourself and have cooled down, please come back to the site.

      Michael - 2012-03-11 19:59

      Now that he has cooled down, we shall start with an ABC of simple and successful strategy for our dear friend Anthony. First step, is that the opposition should have spent some time and effort in unifying their cause. Instead they represent themselves as a discordant rabble with different voices all over the place. Even their western friends find them impossible to assist in any coherent manner. Second Step, once unified, spend some time and effort in lobbying the right political forces in order to ensure a unified voice when the time came to put motions in front of the UN. Did you really think that Russia and China would have lent their support to the motion as it was put to the Security Council? Shall we go on, it might take all night.......

      Anthony - 2012-03-11 21:07

      @Michael, Firstly, my manors are most certainly a lot better, than those whose company you keep. Most comments coming from this Fidel and " I am intelligent " Patrick, are certainly the most RACIST AND FULL OF HATRED ,I have read , on this site, in the last few years. As a matter of fact , certain comments from this Patric , made today, make me puke !!! To come back to Syria. I am not sure, if you ignorant, or are just playing games with me, because your comment makes no sense whatsoever. What an utter rubbish, to suggest that the opposition should have unified. THEY LIVE IN A VIOLENT DICTATORSHIP!!. THERE ARE NO POLITICAL PARTIES !! THERE IS NO ROOM FOR ANY OPPOSITION TO THIS TYRANT. What is it , you don't understand or don't want to understand ??? One could not even sit under a tree, discussing politics, and the secret police would have you arrested. You would make a comment, anti this thug, in a coffee shop, and your life would be in danger. And you are talking about, the opposition unifying and going to the UN ?????!!!!!???? Let me ask you again............... You in Syria. You want a change of goverment. What would you do ???????????????? You see Michael, it is very easy, you don't want to answer. Because the ONLY way, the opposition in a dictatorship can make their voice heard, is to go onto the streets. and THAT is what they did, UNARMED And the response from assad; KILL THE "TERRORISTS"

      Fred - 2012-03-13 06:36

      Michael, did you expect them to do all that while being butchered in their homes? Theoretical and disconnected as usual.

      Fred - 2012-03-13 06:51

      Just dry pontificating.

  • Michael - 2012-03-11 18:59

    While we are are on the subject of the Gulffies, lets take a look at another country- Bahrain. They had their revolution crushed by the Saudis and other neighbors (probably including Qatar/ UAE). So the revolution in Syria has some interesting supporters. Maybe the advantage is to keep the focus away from your own abuses and stoke the fires in Syria?

      Fred - 2012-03-13 06:39

      While you're playing theoretical mind-games with "the Gulfies", families are being heartlessly slaughtered in their neighborhoods and homes by the cruel dictator Bashar Assad, who is ultimately responsible for all the deaths, maimings, detnetions, torture, and rapes.

  • Michael - 2012-03-11 21:57

    That would be "manners" Anthony but maybe you can be forgiven if English is not your first language. Maybe that's also why you fail to get any points that are put to you. Please know that I don't keep any company especially on websites, I express my own independent views. You have received comprehensive answers to you demanded question. It is absolutely pointless taking this any further, you simply go on and on like a broken record. The strategy adopted is stupid at best , idiotic at worst. There were always enough opposition members overseas to have coordinated their opposition properly. But no, their dear little egos got the better of them ,nice to have little intellectual discussions- but work together , never! So now there is a total mess and disarray. Ask the same shouting question of yourself, WHAT DO YOU DO NOW? since you have so cleverly advised the rebellion.

      Fred - 2012-03-13 06:44

      Still no outrage at the slaughter, detention, torture and rape of fellow Muslims by Bashar Assad and his cronies.

      Michael - 2012-03-13 06:52

      Come on Fred have some courage answer me what do you do now? All the outrage and capitalized shouting from you will not result in a solution Freddie boy and you know that. Just lines of bull one after another from you and no solution. Lets speak again in a few weeks time when the scorecard has another few thousand added. Just the usual ego driven nonsense from you.

      Fred - 2012-03-13 07:13

      What do you suggest, now that Russia and China, who you lauded, have vetoed a united stand across cultures and religions? I think the 134 countries of the 151 on Earth should take a stand. I think Russia will stand-down. It won't risk a war with the freer world over Assad. And China won't do anything. They're as disconnected as you are.

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