News Update :

UN-Arab League envoy Annan quits, urges more support for Syria peace:

Sunday, August 12, 2012

SYRIA: Kofi Annan has resigned as UN-Arab League envoy for Syria, complaining that his April peace plan had not received the support it deserved from major powers.

As the Syrian army deployed fighter jets against rebels armed with tanks around the commercial capital Aleppo, the former UN chief regretted an “increasing militarisation” of the 17-month conflict.

He also hit out at “continuous finger-pointing and name-calling” at the UN Security Council which he said had prevented coordinated action to end the bloodshed.

Annan said the bickering had hindered his attempts to implement his six-point peace plan which was supposed to start with a reciprocal ceasefire from April 12 that never took hold, but his resignation sparked a new round of recriminations amongst major powers.

“I did not receive all the support that the cause deserved,” Annan told a hastily scheduled press conference in Geneva Thursday after his resignation was announced by UN chief Ban Ki-moon at UN headquarters in New York.

“You have to understand: as an envoy, I can’t want peace more than the protagonists, more than the Security Council or the international community for that matter.” “The increasing militarisation on the ground and the lack of unanimity in the Security Council fundamentally changed my role,” he said.

But he predicted that President Bashar al-Assad would go “sooner or later” and did not rule out his successor having more luck or success, despite his warning there was “no Plan B”.

“These crises are never static... as the situation evolves there may be other approaches,” he said.

Writing in the Financial Times, Annan called on Russia and the United States to shoulder responsibility for saving Syria from catastrophic civil war.

Annan stressed that Western military intervention would not deliver success on its own and that a political solution which was not comprehensive was doomed to fail. “Syria can still be saved from the worst calamity. But this requires courage and leadership, most of all from the permanent members of the Security Council, including from Presidents Putin and Obama,” he wrote.

Despite Annan’s criticism of the “finger-pointing” at the United Nations, Washington was quick to blame Annan’s resignation on the vetoing by Beijing and Moscow of three separate Arab- or Western-drafted resolutions on the Syrian conflict. “Annan’s resignation highlights the failure at the United Nations Security Council of Russia and China to support meaningful resolutions against Assad that would have held Assad accountable,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney. AFP
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