Expected Tuesday in China after his visit to Moscow, Kofi Annan, UN and the Arab League envoy to Syria, received the answer from Damascus to his six-point plan for ending the conflict that has claimed the lives of more than 8,000 people since March 2011.
In Moscow, where he met yesterday Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Kofi Annan said that the crisis in Syria could not “last forever” but that it was impossible to set a deadline for a resolution of the conflict. “It does not make sense to introduce a timetable or a deadline when all parties do not agree,” he said.
“We can not let (the crisis) last indefinitely, as I told the parties on the ground, they can not resist the winds of change.”
In Geneva, Annan’s spokesman, Ahmad Fawzi, announced that the government of President Bashar al-Assad had formally responded to the six-point plan for a negotiated settlement of the crisis.
“The Syrian government has officially responded to the six-point plan of special envoy on Syria as it was endorsed by the UN Security Council,” he said. “Mr. Annan is currently studying it and will respond very quickly.”
On the ground, neighborhoods of the rebel city of Homs, 150 km north of Damascus, continued to be under heavy bombings. Monday’s violence claimed the lives of at least 61 people across the country, half of them in Homs, according to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights.