Annan’s Syrian stalemate

On Saturday President Assad rejected political dialogue with opposition forces he still refers to as terrorists. Ilker Kocas looks at the talks that took place between Annan and Assad.

Disappointed UN Peace envoy Kofi Annan left Syria on Sunday after failing to secure a cease-fire between the Free Syria Army and the forces of President Assad.

The former UN chief has said that he is still optimistic after his two meetings with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“It’s going to be tough, it’s going to be difficult but we have to have hope,” Annan said, telling the press that he suggested “concrete proposals” to Mr. Assad calling for an immediate cease-fire.

Annan had also hoped to establish an accord between Syrian army forces and Syrian rebel forces to allow access for humanitarian aid agencies.

Syrain state run press announced that President Assad was willing to work with the UN to end violence, but further discussion were needed with regional leaders in Syria.

Saturday’s talks were the first held face-to-face between Assad and international diplomatic representatives, with the Arab league also in attendance.

During the meeting President Assad rejected proposals to begin political dialogue with the rebel factions, describing them as “terrorists”.

According to the UN 7,500 people have lost their lives since the conflict began a year ago.

Annan left Syria on Sunday to visit Qatar before holding talks in Turkey on Monday.


View The Breaker’s coverage of William Hague addressing the UN here.

Main Image: Remy Steinegger via Flickr
Sources: Reuters, al Jazeera, CNN

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