Kofi Annan admits failure in Syria plan
DAMASCUS / TOKYO
Members of the Free Syrian Army, armed rebels, are seen with damaged tanks near Idlib. Almost 100 people have been killed across Syria over the weekend. REUTERS photoInternational envoy Kofi Annan has acknowledged the failure so far of his mission to bring peace to Syria and is expected to visit Damascus today, for discussions with the Syrian leadership on the subject of his plan.
In comments published by French newspaper Le Monde, Annan said: “Evidently, we have not succeeded. And maybe there is no guarantee that we will succeed.” Annan also stressed that Russia and Iran must not be sidelined from the peace efforts. “Russia wields influence but I am not sure that the events will be determined by Russia alone... Iran is an actor. It has to be part of the solution. It has influence and we cannot ignore it,” Agence France-Presse quoted Annan as saying.
The Annan plan, which insists on a cessation of violence by all sides, has made little headway, as activists reported that at least 35 people were killed yesterday across the country, in addition to 60 others killed in violence on July 7.
Time is running out on Syrian peace hopes: Clinton
Annan’s statement was followed by the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s remarks, in which she said that time was running out on Syrian peace hopes. Clinton also warned that the country needs to start a political transition to save the country from a “catastrophic assault.” Speaking in Japan, Clinton said Annan’s acknowledgement that his peace plan was failing “should be a wake-up call for everyone.”
“It should be abundantly clear to those who support the al-Assad regime their days are numbered,” Clinton told reporters in Tokyo. “What Kofi Annan said should be a wake-up call to everyone because he acknowledged that there has not been movement by the Syrian regime in accordance with the six-point plan,” Clinton said.