April 21, 2013 |
UNITED NATIONS - The joint U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria on Friday gave the Security Council a grim assessment of the Syrian civil war, saying that Damascus was completely uncooperative in negotiations. "With the Syrians, I got nowhere," Lakhdar Brahimi told reporters after the closed-door briefing. Diplomats said he told them virtually nothing had been accomplished in eight months. Since last year, Brahimi has been promoting a peace plan that would call for a transitional government in which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would step aside.
August 3, 2012 |
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Kofi Annan announced his resignation Thursday as peace envoy to Syria and issued a blistering critique of world powers, bringing to a dramatic end a frustrating six-month effort that failed to achieve even a temporary cease-fire as the country plunged into civil war. Annan also had harsh words for the Syrian regime, saying it was clear that President Bashar al-Assad "must leave office. " As the violence escalated on the ground, rebels used a captured tank to shell a military air base near Aleppo - one of the first known uses of heavy weapons by the insurgents.
July 20, 2012 |
The bomb that decimated the inner circle of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Wednesday should also shake up U.S. policy toward Syria. The deaths of Assad's brother-in-law and confidant, Assef Shawkat, along with other top security officials, marks the beginning of the end for a regime that has slaughtered at least 15,000 people. This is a moment that calls for decisive Western action. Yet, before Wednesday's bomb, the international community was fixated on an irrelevance - whether to renew the mandate of a United Nations monitoring mission in Syria that expires Friday.
July 14, 2012 |
ISTANBUL, Turkey - U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan, the Obama administration, and the Syrian opposition on Friday denounced President Bashar al-Assad after a massive military assault against a village involving tanks, artillery and helicopters a day earlier caused the deaths of possibly scores of civilians. Russia, Syria's principal backer, also condemned the assault and called for an investigation, but it stopped short of ascribing blame. Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said vaguely that "forces" were stoking sectarian violence, a possible reference to foreign nations such as Qatar and Turkey that are backing the Syrian opposition.
July 13, 2012 |
ISTANBUL, Turkey - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, attempting to seize the initiative after taking a clobbering in international forums over the conflict in his country, named a member of his cabinet as a negotiator in U.N.-sponsored talks to set up a transitional government to succeed his dictatorship. The proposal for Ali Haidar, his minister of reconciliation, to take the position apparently came as a surprise to Kofi Annan, the U.N. special envoy, who met with Assad on Monday, according to a leaked account of the meeting published this week by a Beirut newspaper.
July 12, 2012 |
MOSCOW - Russia is reaching out to the Syrian opposition to keep influence in the Middle East country after the potential exit of President Bashar al-Assad, a longtime Russian ally, while the top U.N. envoy to Syria met with leaders of another Assad ally, Iran, to try to win their support for a peace effort. U.N. envoy Kofi Annan said Tehran had offered its support to end the conflict and must be "part of the solution. " "My presence here proves that I believe Iran can play a positive role and should therefore be a part of the solution in the Syrian crisis," Annan told reporters in Tehran after meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi.
July 8, 2012 |
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Special U.N. envoy Kofi Annan acknowledged in an interview published Saturday that the international community's efforts to find a political solution to the escalating violence in Syria had failed. Annan also said that more attention needed to be paid to the role of longtime Syrian ally Iran, and that countries supporting military actors in the conflict were making the situation worse. "The evidence shows that we have not succeeded," he told the French daily Le Monde.
June 16, 2012 |
BEIRUT, Lebanon - The head of the U.N. observers in Syria said Friday that a spike in bloodshed is derailing the mission to monitor and defuse more than a year of violence, raising questions about how effective the unarmed force can be in a conflict that every day looks more like a civil war. The troubles facing the observer mission are the latest sign that an international peace plan for Syria is disintegrating. Western powers have pinned their hopes on the plan, brokered two months ago by special envoy Kofi Annan, in part because there are no other options on the table.
April 20, 2012 |
PARIS - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called Thursday for the U.N. Security Council to adopt an arms embargo and other tough measures against Syria to try to halt 13 months of bloodshed, but she acknowledged that such diplomatic actions would likely be vetoed. Clinton's comments to Western and Arab diplomats from the so-called "Friends of Syria" group came as the head of the United Nations accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of failing to honor a peace plan that went into effect a week ago. In a transcript of her remarks on the State Department's website, Clinton stopped short of calling for outside military intervention in Syria - something there is little to no foreign appetite for - but said it was time to impose more consequential measures on Assad's regime.
April 13, 2012 |
BEIRUT - A fragile cease-fire brokered by the U.N. took hold in Syria on Thursday with regime forces apparently halting widespread attacks on the opposition. But scattered violence was reported and the government defied demands to pull troops back to barracks, drawing criticism from international envoy Kofi Annan. Annan told the U.N. Security Council he was "encouraged" that the truce appeared to be holding but warned that the Syrian regime has failed to implement key demands such as withdrawing troops and heavy weapons from cities and towns.