Hope for 'improved' Syria situation by deadline: Annan
TEHRAN - Agence France-Presse
AFP PHOTOUN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan said the situation in Syria should be "much improved" by a Thursday deadline if both sides in the conflict respect a peace plan he drew up.
Annan, speaking at a news conference in Tehran on Wednesday, said: "If everyone respects, I think by six o'clock on Thursday the 12th -- six o'clock in the morning on Thursday the 12th -- we a should see a much improved situation on the ground." He said the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has given "further clarifications" over how it would implement its side of the plan.
"What they mean and want is an assurance that the other forces, the opposition forces, would also stop the fighting so that we could see cessation of all the violence," he said.
Annan said his team has "had positive answers from them" and that "governments with influence" had also been approached to ensure that all sides in the conflict respect the ceasefire.
Annan arrived in Tehran from Turkey. Iran is Syria's principal ally in the Middle East and has given political and material support to Assad's regime.
Turkey has called for Assad to step down to resolve the bloody uprising in Syria that has killed more than 9,000 people since it started a year ago, according to UN estimates.