UN alone cannot end crisis: Mood

UN alone cannot end crisis: Mood

The head of a U.N. observer team in Syria cautioned on May 18 that the mission cannot achieve a permanent end to the violence without genuine talks between the two sides, while regime forces reportedly fired on protesters who took to the streets of Aleppo.

Maj. Gen. Robert Mood, the Norwegian head of the 200-strong observer team, warned that no number of observers can achieve “a permanent end to the violence if the commitment to give dialogue a chance is not genuine from all internal and external actors.” He spoke at a news conference in Damascus, the Associated Press reported.

Annan to visit Syria soon

Several people were wounded at the rally on May 18 seen in Syria’s second city Aleppo, activists said. At least seven people were killed in violence across Syria on May 18, including two children and a woman, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Meanwhile, Kofi Annan, the special U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria, plans to return to Damascus “soon” to further efforts to find a peaceful solution to the crisis, his spokesman said on May 18. Ahmad Fawzi said no date had been set for Annan’s second trip to Syria. A deputy is also planning a trip, he added, but owing to security risks he cannot reveal when.