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  • » 03/26/2012, 00.00

    SYRIA

    Kofi Annan's mission may be the "last chance" to avoid civil war in Syria, Medvedev says



    Russian president backs former UN general secretary's plan, but does not say how it can be implemented. US president and Turkish prime minister talk about providing "non-lethal" aid to Syrian rebels. Human Rights Watch accuses Syrian forces of using human shields in front of soldiers and tanks.

    Moscow (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Kofi Annan's mission "may be the last chance for Syria to avoid a protracted and bloody civil war," Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said yesterday as he expressed support for the former UN general secretary, who is trying to convince Syria's government and opposition to stop the fighting a year after the rebellion began.

    However, it is unclear how this can be done given Moscow's (and Beijing's) vetoes against anti-Assad resolutions at the Security Council. Annan's plan includes a ceasefire, the immediate withdrawal of heavy weapons from residential areas and access for humanitarian aid, all of which were part of an Arab league plan rejected by Damascus.

    The Russian warning comes as US President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan voiced the idea of sending "non-lethal" aid to the Syrian armed opposition, including communications equipment and medical supplies. This could be decided as early as the next meeting of the "Friends of Syria" scheduled for 1 April.

    Speaking about the matter, Erdogan said, "We cannot remain a spectator to these developments," something that is not going to go down well in Moscow, especially since Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov "underscored the need to end violence from all sides".

    In the meantime, rebel sources said that 15 civilians were killed during an attack against the city of Homs (pictured), whilst US-based Human Rights Watch accused Syrian security forces of using human shields in front of their soldiers and tanks.

     

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    See also

    30/08/2006 ISRAEL – UNITED NATIONS – LEBANON
    Annan-Olmert meet, discuss first steps to implement resolution 1701
    The release of captive Israeli soldiers, an end to the blockade of the Lebanese coast, but especially the disarmament of Hezbollah are the key questions.

    17/05/2013 SYRIA - UNITED STATES - TURKEY
    Washington: Obama talks to Erdogan, against shipping weapons to the rebels
    As talks get underway with Moscow, the US president speaks with Turkey’s PM, Syrian rebels’ main ally. The two leaders discuss Syria’s democratic future and Assad’s necessary departure. Ankara voices doubts about a peace conference between rebels and regime backed by Moscow and Washington. After decades, Russian Pacific fleet warships enter the Mediterranean.

    12/04/2012 SYRIA
    Ceasefire between regime and rebels appears to be holding
    Syrian Human Rights Observatory chief reports calm across the country. UN- and Arab League-sponsored ceasefire came into effect at 6 am (local time). In case of violation, Syrian military and the Free Syrian Army threaten to resume hostilities. Clashes were reported yesterday in Homs and other Syrian cities.

    08/06/2012 SYRIA
    Annan peace plan for Syria needs Security Council action
    UN-Arab League envoy calls on SC members to put pressure on regime, blamed for most of the violence in the country. Sources tell AsiaNews that the fight for democracy that started in 2011 has led to a factional fight with fighting to continue with or without Assad.

    31/05/2012 SYRIA
    Washington and Moscow clash over Syria's looming civil war
    Russia and China oppose new sanctions against Syrian regime. For US secretary of State, Russia is contributing to a disastrous civil war. Ban Ki-Moon describes Houla massacre as turning point for Assad regime. The latter releases 500 political prisoners arrested in 14 months of unrest.



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