Showing posts tagged as "Kofi Annan"

Showing posts tagged Kofi Annan

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5 Aug
As Kofi Annan Steps Down, What’s In Store For Syria?  |  NPR
Kofi Annan will step down at the end of the month from his post as UN-Arab League envoy for Syria. Annan’s resignation is the latest blow to the faltering efforts to find a solution to the crisis in Syria. Steve Inskeep talks about the implications with Robert Malley of the International Crisis Group.
FOR AUDIO (NPR)
Photo: Freedom House/Flickr

As Kofi Annan Steps Down, What’s In Store For Syria?  |  NPR

Kofi Annan will step down at the end of the month from his post as UN-Arab League envoy for Syria. Annan’s resignation is the latest blow to the faltering efforts to find a solution to the crisis in Syria. Steve Inskeep talks about the implications with Robert Malley of the International Crisis Group.

FOR AUDIO (NPR)

Photo: Freedom House/Flickr

4 Aug
Kofi Annan’s exit makes it clear: Force trumps talk in Syria  |  Los Angeles Times
By Patrick J. McDonnell and Paul Richter 
BEIRUT — The resignation of Kofi Annan, the point man for international efforts to bring peace to Syria, emphatically confirmed what events there had already been making clear: The country’s fate is far more likely to be decided by force than by negotiations.
FULL ARTICLE (LA Times)
Photo: World Economic Forum/Flickr

Kofi Annan’s exit makes it clear: Force trumps talk in Syria  |  Los Angeles Times

By Patrick J. McDonnell and Paul Richter 

BEIRUT — The resignation of Kofi Annan, the point man for international efforts to bring peace to Syria, emphatically confirmed what events there had already been making clear: The country’s fate is far more likely to be decided by force than by negotiations.

FULL ARTICLE (LA Times)

Photo: World Economic Forum/Flickr

5 Jul
Talks Come Up With Plan for Syria, but Not for Assad’s Exit | New York Times
By Nick Cumming-Bruce and Rod Nordland
GENEVA — Major world powers on Saturday failed to reach a consensus on calling for the removal of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria from power, agreeing instead on a plan for a political transition that seemed to have little chance of implementation.
The meeting of nine nations in Geneva, aimed at finding a way to end the bloodshed in Syria, ended in a now-familiar division, with Russia and China blocking the rest from calling for Mr. Assad’s ouster.
Kofi Annan, the United Nations and Arab League mediator who convened the so-called Action Group, tried to put the best possible spin on the agreement, which calls for the formation of a national unity government that would oversee the drafting of a new constitution and elections.
The agreement, he said, provided “a perspective for the future that can be shared by all in Syria, a genuinely democratic and pluralistic state.”
FULL ARTICLE (New York Times)
Photo: Haraz N. Ghanbari

Talks Come Up With Plan for Syria, but Not for Assad’s Exit | New York Times

By Nick Cumming-Bruce and Rod Nordland

GENEVA — Major world powers on Saturday failed to reach a consensus on calling for the removal of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria from power, agreeing instead on a plan for a political transition that seemed to have little chance of implementation.

The meeting of nine nations in Geneva, aimed at finding a way to end the bloodshed in Syria, ended in a now-familiar division, with Russia and China blocking the rest from calling for Mr. Assad’s ouster.

Kofi Annan, the United Nations and Arab League mediator who convened the so-called Action Group, tried to put the best possible spin on the agreement, which calls for the formation of a national unity government that would oversee the drafting of a new constitution and elections.

The agreement, he said, provided “a perspective for the future that can be shared by all in Syria, a genuinely democratic and pluralistic state.”

FULL ARTICLE (New York Times)

Photo: Haraz N. Ghanbari

8 Jun
Annan, Clinton Meet on Syria as Violence Escalates | Voice of America
By Edward Yeranian, Scott Stearns, and Lisa Schlein
Syrian activists say violence nationwide killed 17 people Friday as international envoy Kofi Annan called for additional pressure on the Syrian government as he met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington. 
Speaking tersely while standing next to Clinton, Annan said the two diplomats are looking how to move his stalled peace plan forward.
"Everyone is looking for a solution," Annan said. "Some say the plan may be dead. Is the problem the plan or the problem the implementation? If it’s implementation, how do we get action on that?"
The Annan-brokered cease-fire has failed to deter attacks by the Syrian government and clashes with opposition rebels that have left hundreds dead.
Clinton said the pair want to figure out how to “engender a greater response” by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government to Annan’s overtures.
The talks come as Rami Abdelrahman, the head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, told VOA on Friday that a blast in front of a police station in the northwestern city of Idlib killed two security forces and three civilians. Another explosion that shook a Damascus suburb killed two more security force members.
The Observatory said demonstrators protested after Friday prayers across Syria, including in Aleppo, Damascus and Dara’a. Two civilians died in that southern city, including one shot by a sniper.
Government troops shelled Homs while heavy fighting left two killed in Latakia. The activist group also reported deaths in Deir Ezzor.
FULL ARTICLE (Voice of America)

Photo: AP

Annan, Clinton Meet on Syria as Violence Escalates | Voice of America

By Edward Yeranian, Scott Stearns, and Lisa Schlein

Syrian activists say violence nationwide killed 17 people Friday as international envoy Kofi Annan called for additional pressure on the Syrian government as he met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington. 

Speaking tersely while standing next to Clinton, Annan said the two diplomats are looking how to move his stalled peace plan forward.

"Everyone is looking for a solution," Annan said. "Some say the plan may be dead. Is the problem the plan or the problem the implementation? If it’s implementation, how do we get action on that?"

The Annan-brokered cease-fire has failed to deter attacks by the Syrian government and clashes with opposition rebels that have left hundreds dead.

Clinton said the pair want to figure out how to “engender a greater response” by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government to Annan’s overtures.

The talks come as Rami Abdelrahman, the head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, told VOA on Friday that a blast in front of a police station in the northwestern city of Idlib killed two security forces and three civilians. Another explosion that shook a Damascus suburb killed two more security force members.

The Observatory said demonstrators protested after Friday prayers across Syria, including in Aleppo, Damascus and Dara’a. Two civilians died in that southern city, including one shot by a sniper.

Government troops shelled Homs while heavy fighting left two killed in Latakia. The activist group also reported deaths in Deir Ezzor.

Photo: AP

30 May
Annan says Syria ‘at a tipping point’ after massacre | LA Times
By Patrick J. McDonnell
U.S. and world leaders dramatically increased pressure on Syria in the wake of a civilian massacre, with special envoy Kofi Annan declaring the country to be at a tipping point and urging its president to implement a peace plan that could fatally weaken his grip on power.Annan spoke Tuesday in the Syrian capital as a group of nations — including the United States, Britain, France and Australia — expelled Syrian diplomats in an orchestrated response to last week’s massacre of more than 100 people, the majority of them women and children, in the central Syrian township of Houla.Most of the victims were initially thought to have died in government shelling, but the U.N. human rights office said Tuesday that evidence indicated most were summarily executed in a house-to-house rampage Friday. The U.N. said residents who were interviewed blamed shabiha, pro-government militiamen who rights groups say have acted as regime enforcers and executioners.The Syrian government has denied responsibility for the massacre, whose graphic images of bloodied and mangled corpses have prompted global revulsion. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland on Tuesday condemned what she called an “absolutely indefensible, vile, despicable massacre.”Nuland said the United States would look for ways to “tighten the noose” around the regime of President Bashar Assad.Germany and Britain said they were expelling the Syrian ambassadors to their countries, and the U.S. said it was giving the charge d’affaires, the top Syrian diplomat in Washington, 72 hours to leave.
FULL ARTICLE (LA Times)

Photo: Guillaume Baptiste/AFP/Getty Images

Annan says Syria ‘at a tipping point’ after massacre | LA Times

By Patrick J. McDonnell

U.S. and world leaders dramatically increased pressure on Syria in the wake of a civilian massacre, with special envoy Kofi Annan declaring the country to be at a tipping point and urging its president to implement a peace plan that could fatally weaken his grip on power.

Annan spoke Tuesday in the Syrian capital as a group of nations — including the United States, Britain, France and Australia — expelled Syrian diplomats in an orchestrated response to last week’s massacre of more than 100 people, the majority of them women and children, in the central Syrian township of Houla.

Most of the victims were initially thought to have died in government shelling, but the U.N. human rights office said Tuesday that evidence indicated most were summarily executed in a house-to-house rampage Friday. The U.N. said residents who were interviewed blamed shabiha, pro-government militiamen who rights groups say have acted as regime enforcers and executioners.

The Syrian government has denied responsibility for the massacre, whose graphic images of bloodied and mangled corpses have prompted global revulsion. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland on Tuesday condemned what she called an “absolutely indefensible, vile, despicable massacre.”

Nuland said the United States would look for ways to “tighten the noose” around the regime of President Bashar Assad.

Germany and Britain said they were expelling the Syrian ambassadors to their countries, and the U.S. said it was giving the charge d’affaires, the top Syrian diplomat in Washington, 72 hours to leave.

Photo: Guillaume Baptiste/AFP/Getty Images

29 May
As the U.S. and Others Toss Syria’s Envoys, Is Moscow Changing Its Mind About Assad? | TIME
By Rania Abouzeid
International envoy to Syria Kofi Annan met Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus on Tuesday, in a bid to salvage Anna’s battered plan for peace. “He conveyed in frank terms his view to President Assad that the six-point plan cannot succeed without bold steps to stop the violence and release detainees, and stressed the importance of full implementation of the plan,” Annan’s office said in a statement. For his part, Assad “affirmed to Annan that the success of his plan depends on stopping weapon smuggling and curbing terrorism and those who support it,” the state’s SANA news agency said.
It is not the first time Annan has been in Damascus to push his six-point plan. And it’s not the first time Assad has said that he’s implementing it.
But the key to breaking the stalemate, some observers say, isn’t in Damascus, it’s in Moscow. Russia has steadfastly provided political cover for its key Middle Eastern ally, shielding Damascus from diplomatic censure by twice wielding its veto in the United Nations Security Council. On Tuesday a host of Western nations including the U.S., Britain, France, Australia and Italy tossed Syrian diplomats out of their capitals, but Moscow has routinely ignored the growing international outcry. It has continued to ship arms to a regime intent on pursuing what Assad has termed a “security solution” to the 15-month crisis, even while it insists that inter-Syrian dialogue, not violence, is the only hope for the troubled country.
Some observers say that the Houla massacre over the weekend, which left more than a hundred Syrians dead, including at least 32 children, may have prompted a shift in Russia’s stance. Indeed, Moscow signed onto a UN press statement that condemned the Syrian government’s role in the slaughter. Moscow was expected to block it.
FULL ARTICLE (TIME)
Photo: AFP/HO/Shaam News Network

As the U.S. and Others Toss Syria’s Envoys, Is Moscow Changing Its Mind About Assad? | TIME

By Rania Abouzeid

International envoy to Syria Kofi Annan met Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus on Tuesday, in a bid to salvage Anna’s battered plan for peace. “He conveyed in frank terms his view to President Assad that the six-point plan cannot succeed without bold steps to stop the violence and release detainees, and stressed the importance of full implementation of the plan,” Annan’s office said in a statement. For his part, Assad “affirmed to Annan that the success of his plan depends on stopping weapon smuggling and curbing terrorism and those who support it,” the state’s SANA news agency said.

It is not the first time Annan has been in Damascus to push his six-point plan. And it’s not the first time Assad has said that he’s implementing it.

But the key to breaking the stalemate, some observers say, isn’t in Damascus, it’s in Moscow. Russia has steadfastly provided political cover for its key Middle Eastern ally, shielding Damascus from diplomatic censure by twice wielding its veto in the United Nations Security Council. On Tuesday a host of Western nations including the U.S., Britain, France, Australia and Italy tossed Syrian diplomats out of their capitals, but Moscow has routinely ignored the growing international outcry. It has continued to ship arms to a regime intent on pursuing what Assad has termed a “security solution” to the 15-month crisis, even while it insists that inter-Syrian dialogue, not violence, is the only hope for the troubled country.

Some observers say that the Houla massacre over the weekend, which left more than a hundred Syrians dead, including at least 32 children, may have prompted a shift in Russia’s stance. Indeed, Moscow signed onto a UN press statement that condemned the Syrian government’s role in the slaughter. Moscow was expected to block it.

FULL ARTICLE (TIME)

Photo: AFP/HO/Shaam News Network


10 May
Al Arabiya | Damascus blasts push Syria ever closer to civil: analysts
The recent escalation of violence in Syria, including twin bombings on Thursday that killed scores, has pushed the country closer to war and could spell an end to a U.N. ceasefire mission, experts say.
“The country is in a civil war vortex, and all this is happening while the international community is not living up to its responsibilities,” said Khattar Abu Diab, professor of international relations at Paris Sud University. 
Though the Damascus bombings were the deadliest since an anti-regime uprising began in March last year, analysts said the imminent failure of a U.N.-backed peace plan was already clear.
President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has failed to implement a six-point plan brokered by U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, said Abu Diab.
“The ceasefire has not been respected, people have not been allowed to protest freely and peacefully, and the political prisoners have not been freed,” said the analyst.
The putative truce technically came into effect on April 12, but hundreds of people on both sides have died since then, and the U.N. and rights groups have accused both the regime and rebels of violating it.
Earlier this week, U.N. leader Ban Ki-moon warned the government and opposition that there was only a “brief window” to avoid “a full-scale civil war.”
But with no clear alternative to the peace plan in sight, “we stand before a dead end,” Abu Diab noted
Some say the U.N. mission may have already failed.
“The West is supporting a mission that it doesn’t believe in,” said Peter Harling, an expert on Syria with the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, told AFP.
FULL ARTICLE (Al Arabiya)

Al Arabiya | Damascus blasts push Syria ever closer to civil: analysts

The recent escalation of violence in Syria, including twin bombings on Thursday that killed scores, has pushed the country closer to war and could spell an end to a U.N. ceasefire mission, experts say.

“The country is in a civil war vortex, and all this is happening while the international community is not living up to its responsibilities,” said Khattar Abu Diab, professor of international relations at Paris Sud University. 

Though the Damascus bombings were the deadliest since an anti-regime uprising began in March last year, analysts said the imminent failure of a U.N.-backed peace plan was already clear.

President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has failed to implement a six-point plan brokered by U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, said Abu Diab.

“The ceasefire has not been respected, people have not been allowed to protest freely and peacefully, and the political prisoners have not been freed,” said the analyst.

The putative truce technically came into effect on April 12, but hundreds of people on both sides have died since then, and the U.N. and rights groups have accused both the regime and rebels of violating it.

Earlier this week, U.N. leader Ban Ki-moon warned the government and opposition that there was only a “brief window” to avoid “a full-scale civil war.”

But with no clear alternative to the peace plan in sight, “we stand before a dead end,” Abu Diab noted

Some say the U.N. mission may have already failed.

“The West is supporting a mission that it doesn’t believe in,” said Peter Harling, an expert on Syria with the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, told AFP.

FULL ARTICLE (Al Arabiya)