Annan plans to convene Syria talks in Geneva on Saturday
GENEVA INTERNATIONAL peace envoy Kofi Annan intends to convene a high-level meeting on Syria in Geneva this Saturday as the conflict there intensifies, his deputy said on Wednesday.
The joint United Nations-Arab League envoy, whose peace plan for Syria has so far failed to halt the bloodshed, is working with foreign governments and all sides in the war to bring about a peaceful and comprehensive settlement, Jean- Marie Guehenno said.
“But this effort cannot be open-ended. Time is running out.
Syria is spiralling into deeper and more destructive violence,” Guehenno told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Annan’s efforts in recent weeks have focused on setting up an action group on Syria which he now wants to convene on Saturday to find a common position on a resolution to the crisis, Guehenno said.
At the moment, “all sides appear to not believe in the possibility of a political solution,” he said. “The opposition remains divided between those who favour a peaceful political solution, those who reject any understanding with the government, and those who support continued armed resistance,” he said.
Western diplomats said they had not received any firm word of the Geneva meeting.
It was not clear how the question of Iran’s participation - which the United States, Britian and France have objected to due to stalled talks on Tehran’s nuclear programme - has been resolved. Tehran is a neighbour of Syria and close Assad ally.
France said Annan’s action group must find a common position on a credible political solution to the crisis.