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Syria: Annan “Shocked” By Violence As Regime Refuses To Withdraw Forces

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The Free Syrian Army command, the military wing of the opposition to the regime of Bashar al-Assad, refused to provide written guarantees for a cease-fire, the Western media reported Sunday. The Syrian regime had earlier said it would not withdraw its forces from towns before obtaining written assurances from the opposition in which the latter would commit to stop the violence.

Last month, the special envoy of the UN and Arab League to Syria, Kofi Annan, said that Damascus accepted the deadline of April 10the to begin implementing his peace plan, which includes an immediate cessation of violence by all parties involved in the conflict and the withdrawal of government troops from cities.

However, the spokesman of Syrian foreign ministry, Jihad Makdessi, said it was more of “a misunderstanding” and that before any withdrawal, Damascus was seeking assurances.

Kofi Annan, the UN special envoy and the Arab League on Syria, said he was “shocked by the rising violence in Syria.”

Meanwhile, Kofi Annan responded Sunday by saying “he was shocked by (the) rising violence in Syria.” He called on the Syrian Government to fulfill its commitments. “As we approach the deadline of Tuesday, April 10, I remind the Syrian government the need to fully respect its commitments and emphasize that the current escalation of violence is unacceptable,” Annan said in a statement.

“I am in constant contact with the Syrian government and I urge all states that have an influence on the parties to act now in order to secure the end of the bloodbath and start the dialogue,” said the Ghanaian diplomat.

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