Envoy Annan to visit Syria 'soon': spokesman
GENEVA - Agence France-Presse
Kofi Annan. AP PhotoKofi Annan, the special UN-Arab League envoy to violence-torn Syria, plans to return to Damascus "soon" to further efforts to find a peaceful solution to the crisis, his spokesman said today.
Ahmad Fawzi said no date had been set for Annan's second trip to Syria since he was named special envoy.
A deputy is also planning a trip, he added, but owing to security risks he cannot reveal when.
"We said before that the joint special envoy is considering an invitation to visit Syria," Fawzi told reporters in Geneva.
"I can say that yes, we can expect a visit soon.
"His deputy also plans to visit Syria but I cannot disclose his arrival time or his arrival date at this time." Annan went to Damascus on March 9-10 to meet President Bashar al-Assad who later agreed a six-point peace plan.
Between 250 and 270 UN military observers out of a planned 300 are now in Syria monitoring a cessation of hostilities that began on April 12 but has barely held with government and opposition groups continuing attacks.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday up to 10,000 people have been killed since the crackdown on regime protesters began in March last year.
Ban also said he believed Al-Qaeda was behind the May 10 bomb attack in Damascus that killed at least 55 people.
"The joint special envoy has said there's a third element that has appeared on the ground in Syria," said Fawzi on Friday.
"We have not yet been able to ascertain who this element belongs to, who it is, and we are in the process of doing so."