The Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for Syria, Kofi Annan, today received a formal response from the Syrian Government on his six-point proposal to end the ongoing violence in the Middle Eastern country, according to a statement issued by his spokesperson.
“Mr. Annan is studying it [the response] and will respond very shortly,” the statement said.
Last Wednesday, the Security Council fully endorsed Mr. Annan’s proposal, which he submitted during his visit to Damascus earlier this month, and called on Syria’s Government and opposition to immediately implement it. The proposal seeks to stop the violence and the killing, give access to humanitarian agencies, release detainees, and start an inclusive political dialogue to address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people.
On Sunday, Mr. Annan held meetings in Moscow with the Russian Federation’s President Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Speaking to reporters at a joint press encounter afterwards, Mr. Annan thanked the President and the Russian Federation for their support for his mission, and said he would be rely on the President's continued support and advice going forward.
In his remarks, Mr. Annan said he agreed with President Medvedev that “Syria has an opportunity today to work with me and this mediation process to put an end to the conflict, to the fighting and really to allow access to those in need of humanitarian assistance as well as to embark on a political process that can lead to a peaceful settlement.”
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the Council’s endorsement of Mr. Annan’s proposal last week, saying he hoped that united action by the Council on Syria would mark a turning point in the international community’s response to the crisis.
Mr. Ban also discussed the situation in Syria with various world leaders today, in meetings on the sidelines of the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit in the Republic of Korea. He briefed Australia’s Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, on the latest developments, and exchanged views with Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö.
There are currently two missions in the Syrian capital addressing the crisis: a team of experts that is discussing ways to implement Mr. Annan’s six-point proposal, and a humanitarian team that – along with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation – is assessing the humanitarian needs in the country.
The UN estimates that more than 8,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed and tens of thousands displaced since the uprising – part of the broader Arab Spring movement across North Africa and the Middle East – began in March last year.