Thursday, August 2, 2012

Annan quits as special UN-envoy for Syria as a further sign that the time for negotiations has passed

Former UN chief Kofi Annan said on Thursday he was stepping down as international envoy for Syria. He complained that his April peace plan had not received the support it deserved. 
Annan's resignation is a further sign that attempts to reach a negotiated solution to the Syrian crisis have definitely failed.
Annan regretted the "increasing militarisation" of the 17-month conflict and bemoaned the lack of consensus on the UN Security Council. "I did not receive all the support that the cause deserved," he told a press conference in Geneva, that was hastily organized  after UN chief Ban Ki-moon announced his resignation from the UN headquarters in New York.
"Continuous finger-pointing and name-calling" in the Security Council had hindered his attempts to implement his six-point peace plan, Annan said,  that was supposed to start with a ceasefire from April 12 that never took hold.
"The increasing militarisation on the ground and the lack of unanimity in the Security Council fundamentally changed my role," he said. But he suggested that his successor may have better luck. "The world is full of crazy people like me. So don't be surprised if Secretary General Ban Ki-moon can find someone who can do a better job than me," Annan said.
Syria expressed regret that Annan was going. Russia also said it regretted the decision, while Britain, which wants Assad to resign, said it showed that the mediation process was not working. The White House said Annan's decision to quit had highlighted Assad's failure to meet his promise to abide by the ceasefire plan, and added that it continued to believe that "Assad must go".

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