UN-Arab League envoy Annan quits, urges more support
for Syria peace:
SYRIA: Kofi Annan has resigned as UN-Arab League envoy for Syria,
complaining that his April peace plan had not received the support it
deserved from major powers.
As the Syrian army deployed fighter jets against rebels armed with
tanks around the commercial capital Aleppo, the former UN chief
regretted an “increasing militarisation” of the 17-month conflict.
He also hit out at “continuous finger-pointing and name-calling” at
the UN Security Council which he said had prevented coordinated action
to end the bloodshed.
Annan said the bickering had hindered his attempts to implement his
six-point peace plan which was supposed to start with a reciprocal
ceasefire from April 12 that never took hold, but his resignation
sparked a new round of recriminations amongst major powers.
“I did not receive all the support that the cause deserved,” Annan
told a hastily scheduled press conference in Geneva Thursday after his
resignation was announced by UN chief Ban Ki-moon at UN headquarters in
“You have to understand: as an envoy, I can’t want peace more than
the protagonists, more than the Security Council or the international
community for that matter.” “The increasing militarisation on the ground
and the lack of unanimity in the Security Council fundamentally changed
my role,” he said.
But he predicted that President Bashar al-Assad would go “sooner or
later” and did not rule out his successor having more luck or success,
despite his warning there was “no Plan B”.
“These crises are never static... as the situation evolves there may
be other approaches,” he said.
Writing in the Financial Times, Annan called on Russia and the United
States to shoulder responsibility for saving Syria from catastrophic
Annan stressed that Western military intervention would not deliver
success on its own and that a political solution which was not
comprehensive was doomed to fail. “Syria can still be saved from the
worst calamity. But this requires courage and leadership, most of all
from the permanent members of the Security Council, including from
Presidents Putin and Obama,” he wrote.
Despite Annan’s criticism of the “finger-pointing” at the United
Nations, Washington was quick to blame Annan’s resignation on the
vetoing by Beijing and Moscow of three separate Arab- or Western-drafted
resolutions on the Syrian conflict. “Annan’s resignation highlights the
failure at the United Nations Security Council of Russia and China to
support meaningful resolutions against Assad that would have held Assad
accountable,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney. AFP