Syria accepts Annan peace plan | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 28, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 28, 2012

Syria accepts Annan peace plan

Syria has accepted a proposal crafted by Kofi Annan that aims to end bloodshed in the strife-hit country, but the United Nations-Arab League envoy has cautioned implementation is key to peace.
Monitors say over 9,100 people have been killed in Syria over the past year as President Bashar al-Assad's regime cracks down on protests, and the plan urges a UN-supervised halt to fighting, bringing hopes the violence will end.
"The Syrian government has written to the Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan accepting his six-point plan, endorsed by the United Nations Security Council," Annan's spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said in a statement.
Annan is currently in Beijing on a trip aimed at shoring up support for his six-point plan, which also calls for a daily two-hour humanitarian ceasefire and access to all areas affected by the fighting in Syria.
He held talks with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who pledged his support for his mediation efforts -- as did Russian President Dmitry Medvedev when Annan visited Moscow over the weekend.
Beijing earlier called on all parties in Syria to cooperate with Annan, while Wen told the envoy that China believed his mediation efforts "will lead to progress in seeking a solution to the Syrian issue".
According to Fawzi, Annan has written to Assad asking Damascus to "put its (plan's) commitments into immediate effect". He has also urged the release of people detained over the past year of the uprising against Assad's regime.
As news of Syria's acceptance emerged, the restive country's opposition factions met for a second day in Istanbul to agree on common objectives for their nation's future ahead of a weekend "Friends of Syria" conference.
Syria's fragmented opposition has struggled to remain united in the face of the regime's deadly crackdown and the Istanbul talks are aimed at shoring up ranks and securing international recognition.
On the ground, meanwhile, Syrian forces pressed their assault across the country with at least eight people, including three women, killed overnight in clashes with rebel troops, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

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