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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs