News

Envoy: Syria to Cease Military Operations by April 10

Demonstrators protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Kafranbel, near Idlib, Syria, April 1, 2012.
Demonstrators protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Kafranbel, near Idlib, Syria, April 1, 2012.
Margaret Besheer

U.N.-Arab League Syria Envoy Kofi Annan told the U.N. Security Council Monday that the Syrian government has agreed to begin withdrawing its troops from towns and cities and will complete its military pullback by April 10. 

Kofi Annan briefed the 15-nation Security Council via a video link from Geneva during a closed meeting. Afterwards, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, who holds the council’s rotating presidency this month, told reporters that Annan reported on the Syrian pledge to implement the cessation of hostilities.

“Mr. Annan reported that the Syrian foreign minister sent him a letter yesterday in which he said the Syrian military will begin immediately -- and by April 10 will complete -- the cessation of all forward deployment and use of heavy weapons and will complete its withdrawal from population centers," said Rice.

Kofi Annan's Six-Point Peace Plan

  • A Syrian-led political process to address the aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people.
  • A U.N. supervised end to armed violence by all parties in Syria.
  • Timely humanitarian assistance in all areas affected by fighting.
  • Increasing the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained people.
  • Ensuring freedom of movement for journalists.
  • Respecting freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully.

Rice added that the opposition fighters would then be expected to stop fighting within 48 hours of the April 10 deadline. She said Annan told the council that he wished the deadline would have been sooner than April 10, but he urged the Syrian government to start immediately and ensure that its forces move no further into population centers.

The U.S. ambassador said Annan is expecting further details from the Syrian government on other aspects of his six point plan, including on humanitarian access, access for the media and the political process.

Asked whether the Syrians had requested any pre-conditions to begin this military pull back, Rice said no conditions were conveyed to the council.  But the envoy did express her own government’s skepticism as to whether President Bashar al-Assad’s government would follow through on its commitments.

“We have seen over the course of the last many months promises made and promises broken; we have seen commitments to end the violence followed by massive intensification of violence. So the U.S., for one, would look at these commitments and say yet again the proof is in the actions, not in the words,” said Rice.

Syria’s U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari told reporters his government is committed to the success of Mr. Annan’s mission and that he hoped the other parties would cooperate.

“A plan would not be successful unless everybody is committed to [it]. So far the Syria government said that it is committed," said Ja’afari. "We are expecting Mr.  Kofi Annan to get in touch with other parties, those who are involved in initiating, sponsoring and arming the armed groups also, in order to make the stopping of the violence relevant to all parties.”

The Syrian ambassador had harsh words for Sunday’s meeting in Istanbul of the so-called Friends of Syria - a gathering of international delegates supporting Syria's opposition.

The Syrian envoy called the meeting the ‘Enemies of the Syria’ and said it is a parallel track, initiated by enemies of his government, which is competing with and possibly undermining Annan’s mediation efforts.

He condemned Arab countries which pledged tens of millions of dollars to pay opposition fighters and the U.S. offer to send communications equipment as ‘an act of war’ against Syria’s sovereignty. He also chastised former ally Turkey for hosting the meeting.

Last week the United Nations said the crackdown to quell political dissent in Syria has killed more than 9,000 people during the past year.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site -
Middle East Voices
. Follow our Middle East reports on
Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

 

U.N.-Arab League Syria Envoy Kofi Annan told the U.N. Security Council Monday that the Syrian government has agreed to begin withdrawing its troops from towns and cities and will complete its military pullback by April 10.  

Kofi Annan briefed the 15-nation Security Council via a video link from Geneva during a closed meeting. Afterwards, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, who holds the council’s rotating presidency this month, told reporters that Annan reported on the Syrian pledge to implement the cessation of hostilities.

“Mr. Annan reported that the Syrian foreign minister sent him a letter yesterday in which he said the Syrian military will begin immediately -- and by April 10 will complete -- the cessation of all forward deployment and use of heavy weapons and will complete its withdrawal from population centers," said Rice.

Rice added that the opposition fighters would then be expected to stop fighting within 48 hours of the April 10 deadline. She said Annan told the council that he wished the deadline would have been sooner than April 10, but he urged the Syrian government to start immediately and ensure that its forces move no further into population centers.

The U.S. ambassador said Annan is expecting further details from the Syrian government on other aspects of his six point plan, including on humanitarian access, access for the media and the political process.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Bill
April 02, 2012 10:27 AM
Once again the US and the West has been snookered by a clever middle eastern dictator. He beat down the rebellion, put in new, brutal behind-the-scene ordinences and soon will be vacationing in Dubi with his Iranian handlers to celebrate their strategic accomplishments over those gullable Western governments.

by: Bandit 4
April 02, 2012 10:12 AM
LOL...now Annan is working for the Syrian government!!!

by: JOSE ARCE
April 02, 2012 9:31 AM
It's about time to give the Syrian government an ultimatum and help the Syrian rebels finish the corrupt Assad dynasty. Forget that communist Russia and China for not listening to the pain and suffering of the Syrian people and of course, we need one voice from the U.N. security council, the West , Europe and the Arab League.

by: Cha Cha Cohen
April 02, 2012 9:20 AM
It seems the world is up side down! Notice should be given to the rebellion citizen not to the ruling government. The rebel should put their grieviences on the table for solution. What about protests in the UK & USA are they allowed to protest with guns from out side! Lets bring some sanity to this world order! Is there any sane person to speak out!

by: Hassan
April 02, 2012 8:40 AM
Assad’s dictatorship has destroyed houses of worship, tortured children, raped women, executed innocent civilians, burned families alive, and terrorized most of Syria’s population while living life of luxury from money stolen from Syria’s treasury and the world expects Assad will stop his reign of terror on April 10th? That is as likely as Assad winning the Nobel Peace Prize on April 10th. The reality is that Assad must exterminate all Syrian opposition or his dictatorship is finished.

by: NVO
April 02, 2012 8:19 AM
The UN; a corrupt organization hand in hand with The Club of Rome, The Trilateral Commission, The Bilderbergs, The Council on Foreign Relations, ALL pushing for a One World Government under the New World Order. Don't be deceived!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs