UN has new envoy to Syria: Kofi Annan hopes to change something

UN has nominated new ambassador to Syria and he is Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General. K. Annan on Wednesday said he hoped to meet with Syrian President Basahr al-Assad. Envoy expressed his will to assist the situation to calm down.

“Annan told reporters after meeting Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that others have different ideas of how to end the conflict — an apparent reference to a military solution — but that a “peaceful solution through dialogue and a speedy one” was the way to go”, Associated Press writes.

Annan considers that the message is clear and the killing and violence must stop. “Humanitarian agencies must be given access to do their work … (and) “there’s a need for dialogue between all actors in Syria.”

Annan, who served as the U.N.’s secretary-general from 1997 to 2006 and won the Nobel Peace Prize, said he would travel to the Middle East soon. U.N. diplomats said he planned to fly to Cairo on Friday to meet with Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby.

Annan met Assad several times while he was U.N. chief but he said he hasn’t been in touch for several years. He said he expects to visit Damascus “fairly soon,” but later cautioned that “time will tell” whether the Syrians allow him into the country.

UN currently Secretary General Ban ki-Moon said he was counting on all states to support Annan’s mission, including the 15 on the U.N. Security Council, which has been deeply divided over Syria. Russia and China have twice vetoed resolutions over Syrian government. Russia considers that both Syrian government and the opposition are guilty for the situation.

“The Syrian government requested information about the objectives of Annan’s mission and Ban said an official letter was on its way to Assad. Annan said he plans to meet with Syria’s U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari while in New York”, AP continues.

Several Western diplomats said it would be a major mistake for Syria if it prevents Annan from meeting Assad. It would put Damascus’ major ally, Russia, in a very difficult position and could have potential repercussions in the Security Council.

Annan said “if we are going to succeed, it is extremely important that we all accept that there be one process of mediation, the one both the U.N. and Arab League have asked me to lead.”

As we all remember Assad tried another measure to make the situation calmer and held a referendum on a new Constitution on February 26.  

“It’s a phony referendum, and it is going to be used by Assad to justify what he’s doing,” US State Secretary Hillary Clinton commented on the referndum.  

Speaking during an earlier interview, Secretary Clinton asked: “What about the people in Damascus, what about the people in Aleppo? Don’t they know that their fellow Syrian men, women, and children are being slaughtered by their government? What are they going to do about it? When are they going to start pulling the props out from under this illegitimate regime?”

“We see immense human suffering that is heartbreaking and a stain on the honor of those security forces who are doing it”, Clinton concluded.

Clashes in Syria started since March, 2011. The opposition claims Bashar al-Assad must resign. According to the UN more than 7500 people have already been killed in Syria during all this time. 

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