Annan arrives in Syria 'shocked' by Houla killings
DAMASCUS - Agence France-Presse
AFP PHOTO/HO/SANAUN-Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan said he was "shocked" at the weekend's "tragic events" in the central Syrian town of Houla as he arrived in Damascus on Monday for talks with top officials.
Speaking to reporters at a Damascus hotel, Annan described the Houla massacre on Friday and Saturday as "an appalling moment with profound consequences." It was Annan's second visit to Syria since the start of his mission three months ago. It came after the UN Security Council on Sunday strongly condemned the Syrian government for using artillery in the massacre in which at least 108 people were killed in Houla.
Annan was to meet Foreign Minister Walid Muallem later on Monday ahead of talks with President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday, a Syrian official said earlier, speaking on condition of anonymity.
He will also meet with opposition and civil society representatives, his spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said.
Annan will also review the work of a UN military observer mission in Syria, Fawzi said in an email.
His six-point peace plan was supposed to begin with a ceasefire from April 12 but, despite the deployment of the UN observers, it has failed to take hold.
Annan first visited Syria as special envoy on March 10.