World powers have traded blame after Kofi Annan quit as international peace envoy to Syria, complaining that his initiative to end the bloodshed there never received the support it deserved.
The former U.N. Secretary General hit out at “continuous finger-pointing and name-calling” at the U.N. Security Council, which he said had prevented coordinated action to stop the violence. “I did not receive all the support that the cause deserved,” Agence France-Presse quoted Annan as saying on Aug. 2.
His resignation sparked a new round of recriminations among the council’s five permanent members, with the United States blaming Russia
for vetoing three separate U.N. resolutions on the conflict. Germany also said Annan’s decision was partly due to Chinese and Russian
opposition to sanctions.
But Russia’s envoy to the world body, Vitaly Churkin, insisted Moscow had supported Annan “very strongly,” and Putin called his resignation a “great shame.” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said the West, especially the U.S., is to blame for the failure of the Syria peace plan worked out by Kofi Annan.
China said it wanted the United Nations to play an important role in trying to stop the conflict, which activists say has cost the lives of more than 20,000 people since erupting in March 2011.