Talks with Assad 'constructive' - Annan

2012-07-09 14:00

Damascus - Kofi Annan said he had constructive talks in Damascus on Monday with Syrian President Bashar Assad, who said the UN peace envoy's plan to end 16 months of bloodshed was being undermined by US political support for "terrorists".

Within hours, Annan was due to head for Iran for talks with Syria's main ally in the region.

"I just had a positive and constructive discussion with President Assad," the United Nations special envoy said.

"We agreed an approach which I will share with the opposition," he told reporters. Once again, Annan stressed the important of halting violence and promoting political dialogue - the key points of the plan he put forward in April.

Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jihad Makdissi said in a Twitter message: "In both meetings we reassured Annan of Syria's commitment to implement the 6-points Plan and hoped other side is mutually committed."

In a television interview aired on Sunday, Assad accused Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, as well as the United States, of supplying arms and logistical support to the rebels trying to overthrow him.

Sectarian lines

"We know that [Annan] is coming up against countless obstacles but his plan should not be allowed to fail, it is a very good plan," he told Germany's ARD network.

"The main obstacle [is] that many countries don't want [it] to succeed. So they offer political support and they still send armaments and send money to terrorists in Syria," Assad said, according to a transcript of the interview, held in English.

Syria, led by members of a sect related to Shi'ite Islam, has alleged that the Sunni-led Gulf monarchies are supporting unrest among its Sunni majority as a way to check rising Shi'ite influence in the region, most notably that of Shi'ite Iran.

Anti-Assad activists in Syria reported army shelling and clashes with rebels on Monday in Deir Ezzor, Deraa, Homs, Aleppo and a neighbourhood of Damascus. Residents also reported the sound of gunfire in the capital.

An activist website said over 100 Syrians had been killed on Sunday, most of them civilians.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Sunday that Syrian opposition forces were growing more effective and the sooner the violence ended, the better the chances of sparing Syria's government a "catastrophic assault" by rebel fighters were.

Rebels 'more effective'

While Assad has faced sanctions and international condemnation over his crackdown on dissent, major Western and Arab powers have shied away from direct military action.

Turkey has reinforced its border and scrambled fighter aircraft several times since Syria shot down a Turkish reconnaissance jet on 22 June over what Damascus said were Syrian territorial waters in the Mediterranean. Ankara said the incident occurred in international air space.

"The sooner there can be an end to the violence and a beginning of a political transition process, not only will fewer people die, but there is a chance to save the Syrian state from a catastrophic assault that would be very dangerous not only to Syria but to the region," Clinton told a Tokyo news conference.

She appeared to be referring to the possibility of Syrian rebels launching such an assault on state institutions rather than to any outside intervention.

"There is no doubt that the opposition is getting more effective in their defence of themselves and in going on the offence against the Syrian military and the Syrian government's militias. So, the future ... should be abundantly clear to those who support the Assad regime," Clinton added.

"The sand is running out of the hour glass."

Tank captured

Syria's navy fired live missiles from ships and helicopters over the weekend, in an exercise aimed at demonstrating its ability to "defend Syria's shores against any possible aggression", state media said.

Rami Abdelrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said residents of al-Sharifa in the wider Deir Ezzor province on Sunday reported that rebels had captured a working tank for the first time and were using it to attack army positions.

The rebels have gained confidence in recent weeks, staging bolder attacks, holding pockets of territory across the country and clashing with troops only a few kilometres from the presidential palace in Damascus.

  • almeleh - 2012-07-09 14:16

    Yes countries like Russia and China are sending arms.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-09 15:34

      Russia has a contractual obligation with Syria to supply it with arms, as does the US and England in arming Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-09 16:54

      In which court will Assad sue Russia if Putin comes to his senses and stops sending him arms? Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have not killed, detained, tortured and raped unarmed demonstrators by the tens of thousands.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-09 20:33

      ""Russia has a contractual obligation with Syria to supply it with arms, as does the US and England in arming Bahrain and Saudi Arabia"" Only a dumb uneducated person, can make such absurd claim ! Two month ago, when the F1 Grand Prix was held in Bahrain, there were demonstrations , and ONE person died in these unrests. If you can't see the difference between supplying arms to Syria, where now over 16 000 have died, and Bahrain, you are like most radicals / extremists a total dishonest person !!~!!

      pacmanza - 2012-07-09 22:26

      those helicopters were delivered unassembled. the russians say the heli takes 3 months to build.

  • UncleShep - 2012-07-09 14:22

    Talks,,,talks,,,talks,,,,,talks,,,,,and more talks......

  • fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-09 14:32

    It is highly unlikely the opposition will allow Assad to remain in power during the transition to democratic rule in Syria. It is similarly unlikely Assad will step down from power.

      pacmanza - 2012-07-09 22:28

      where is this opposition ? have you seen them in talks ? have you seen them make statements ? and i dont mean from civilians. the 'opposition' is a number of separate groups. who the west sends arms to only to exacerbate the situation.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-10 01:10

      Because you haven't informed yourself doesn't mean others are in similar confusion. Plus you're looking through the same prejudiced lenses as Fidel and Patrick, so you're unlikely to see what is really happening anyway.

  • Marco - 2012-07-09 14:52

    assad would look much better if he grew a moustache

      Marco - 2012-07-09 14:55

      not that im gay or anything

      jans.opresser - 2012-07-10 01:31

      more propoganda from Anthony and his lying minnions! koffi annan is a fraud and a black face puppet for the west. he has no credibility in this issue,and he has a vested interest in destabilising syria. his wife is an Israeli. she is he will do anything to promote a western and israeli cause! thank God for russia,and God bless Putin!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-10 04:58

      Jans, Shame, this "disturbedguyfullofhatredfromthestatesd" also wants to have a say !!! Why don't you rather sort out your New York neighbourhood, Africa does not wamt nor need you !!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-10 05:36

      You're blessing the killing of Syrians and their families by an unelected dictator. Nothing to be proud of. If you have any character, you'd be positively ashamed, remorseful.

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-09 15:38

    Russia and China have been the ones keeping any chance of diplomacy alive. If it was up to America and her lackeys, it would have been violence first and diplomacy when all else fails. Thank God for Russia and China!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-09 17:06

      Russia is arming Assad. Assad has been killing, detaining, torturing and raping unarmed demonstrators by the tens of thousands. Assad has openly stated he is the bloody surgeon of Syria. Kofi Annan has stated that Assad has not complied with the peace plan and is committing atrocities across Syria. China is not involved at all, preferring to be detached from the situation. It has the worst human rights record of any country on Earth.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-09 17:14

      You have to completely accept the MSM propaganda in order to even make such a claim, just use your own brain to process the information, and maybe you will see how delusional your claim sounds. You're using distorted arguments for propaganda purposes to "prove" what you want to believe.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-09 17:55

      Fidel, Your comments re Libya, over the past year, and your comments , or rather ther lack of your comments, since their succesful elections, says it ALL You are a person with EXTREME HATRED, who does not wish ANYONE, besides the ROT of this world, dictators, tyrants and mass murderers, any good life. It is sick and diturbed people like you ,who want to shove your CRAP AND BS down our throats 24/7 You cannot give even ONE example, where any leader you admire, like those from Russia, China, Iran, Syria, have made one iota possitive difference, in anyone's life outside their countries. They NEVER created even ONE job, or helped even ONE starving child, or helped even ONE sick person. YOU are an insult to Africans !!!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-09 18:10

      You're continued persistance in arguing with a straw man is tedious.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-09 18:20

      I get soo sick and tired of ones from Africa, who only can on those countries, that invest billions in Africa, creates tens if not hundreds of thousands of jobs, AND who take care of the sick and feed the hungry!! Than when these same ones can only talk good of those countries who have NEVER done ANYTHING for Africans, THAN THOSE MAKE ME PUKE !!!!!!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-09 18:32

      You're speaking about yourself Fidel. It's obvious. 137 of the 166 countries on Earth decided in general assembly that Assad is sn illegitimate leader and must resign. Are they wrong too?

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-09 18:47

      Can we stick to the point at debate here, rather than throwing pointless obstacles in the way to obscure it.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-09 18:48

      Patrick, ""Have you even considered that Africa cannot wait to say good bye to western investors"" Go and tell this to the hundreds of thousands who either directly or indirectly work for American or european companies. It shows what a selfish ar.ehole you are, to sell your rotten 60 year old crap, and not give a damn about Africans. You are a disgrace !!!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-09 19:09

      Only 12 countries of all the countries on Earth voted against the decision.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-09 20:12

      ""Can we stick to the point at debate here, rather than throwing pointless obstacles in the way to obscure it"" Fidel and your lapdog Patrick; This is exactly what it is about; YOUR DISHONESTY. Who do you want to fool, that you give one iota about peoples 15000 km away,while you could not give a damn about people in your own street, ones that very likely direct or indirect for an Amereican or European company. You would sit there behind your computers with a smile on your faces, if these companies would disinvest from Africa , and put these peoples on the street. Now THAT is sick

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-09 21:11

      Governments are only legitimate when elected.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-09 21:16

      Seldom, if ever, met two people, like this Fidel and this Patrick, who EVEN HATE their own people !!!!!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-09 21:50

      @Anthony Once upon a time, anti-psychotics were reserved for a relatively small number of patients, to treat such symptoms as delusions or formal thought disorder. You should research the life of Syd Barrett and rethink your acid intake accordingly.

      pacmanza - 2012-07-09 22:32

      neither 'side' or collection of 'sides' is on any sort of moral high ground. the recent wikileaks project has released over 2.5 million e-mails in relation to syria, the west and all others involved. it is embaressing for Syria, and also the west. Just wait a few weeks for news agencies ( not propaganda machines like Fox News or crap like that ) to release the stories and have a look for yourselves what's really going on. open your eyes.

      jans.opresser - 2012-07-10 01:33

      worong fred,AMERICA and ENGLAND have the worst human rights record on this planet!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-10 05:02

      And you Jans, aka "asthatdisturbedbrotherfromthestatesfullofhatred" beat EVERYBODY, in HATRED !!!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-10 05:32

      When you write this you show yourself to be uninformed. You take yourself out of intelligent and informed debate. Is this what you want? Start by Googling Mao's Cultural Revolition.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-10 05:43

      That's to Jans

  • Boos - 2012-07-09 22:49

    fidel.mgoqi = Troll

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-10 01:14

      It's either that or he's completely deluding himself.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-10 01:47

      He, Patrick and a few others, read and watch what's going on, then put their own made-up story on top that. It's really strange. Debating with them is debating a delusion. It doesn't work.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-10 05:06

      Patrick, debating ?? He can only make up stories, and as he said " He is NEVER wrong" !! He would do much better bullsh.tting someone on a dating site !! In anycase with that attitude to others, he must be a very lonely person !!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-10 05:34

      Jans Oppressor (an apt name) has put himself on this list.

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

      I think you've misunderstoond the term troll. What's worse is that you lay the word troll out like you have just trumped in some kind of superiority game on commenting. Playing "spot the troll"? What a tosser!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-10 08:54

      What a fall..............from using 50 $ words, to 'tosser' The last time I heard this word, was in grade 7, and that boy, was ohh soo childish !!!

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