UN’s Annan meets IRI president, consults on Syria
Visiting UN Special Envoy in Syrian Affairs Kofi Atta Annan here Wednesday evening in a meeting with IRI President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad elaborated on his crisis solving plan for Syria, IRNA reported.
According to the IRNA Wednesday night news team, the information website of the IRI President has quoted President Ahmadinejad as saying in the meeting that Mr. Annan's mission on Syria is a very tough one, adding, "The Middle East issues and the ongoing developments are quite complicated, and they keep getting more and more complicated with the entry of new elements."
The president emphasized that the rights of the entire nations, including the Syrians, need to be respected and preserved, reiterating, "Implementing any plan and applying any strategy in Syria must be free from the pressures and interferences of the others, and any type of aggression in that county must be ended."
The president referred to the point that today the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, observes no constraint in expressing its objectives for exertion of the western hegemony over the entire region, reiterating, "Under such conditions the responsibilities and mission of the United Nations and its special envoy's mission on Syria is a very tough one, and puts that international organization encountered with a great test."
Ahmadinejad said that neither the pressure imposed by Europe and the United States, nor the weapons provided by NATO can solve the problems and difficulties, reiterating, "Solving the regional problems through seeking their root causes calls for implementation of justice, respecting the human dignity and urging the aliens to refrain from interference in their internal affairs."
The Iranian president said that the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready for cooperation and assisting in establishment of justice and materializing the people's basic rights, reiterating in his address to the UN special envoy, "As independent individuals, we need to support those who are under the pressure of big world powers, and to help to solve their problems amid mutual understanding."
The UN Special Envoy in Syrian Affairs Kofi Annan, too, in the meeting expressed delight over the opportunity to meet the Iranian president, and argued that the Islamic Republic of Iran is an important and great country, which plays noticeable roles in regional developments.
The former UN secretary general then briefed President Ahmadinejad on the activities he has thus far had regarding crisis solving in Syria, arguing, "The best way for ending the conflict in that country is staying away from all types of military engagements, provision of a peaceful atmosphere, and implementation of an appropriate atmosphere for the nurturing and preservation of peace and security aimed at achieving a bright future for Syria and the Syrian nation."
He also expressed enthusiasm in hearing the viewpoints of the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran on developments related to Syria.
Born April 8th, 1938, Kofi, Atta Annan, , is a veteran Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1st, 1997, to December 31st, 2006.
Mr. Annan and the United Nations were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for his founding of the Global AIDS and Health Fund to support developing countries in their struggle to care for their people.
Kofi Annan says he has received assurances from Syria that it will respect his planned ceasefire with rebel forces, which is due to begin in under 12 hours' time.
The UN and Arab League envoy was speaking as activists reported fresh violence in various parts of the country, including shelling of rebel-held areas in Homs. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 'tens of army vehicles' were deploying in the southern town of Maaraba amid intense shooting.
Annan, who is in Iran to enlist Tehran's help in ending the violence in Syria, said he was cautiously optimistic the situation could improve as early as Thursday morning, if Damascus stuck to its word and respected the deadline. However, he also warned that 'any further militarization of the conflict would be disastrous'.
The envoy has been pushing Damascus to withdraw its troops from cities and to halt all violence by 6:00 am on Thursday morning, to salvage his peace plan.
Speaking to reporters in Tehran, Annan said he and his host agreed on the need to 'find a peaceful solution to the crisis'.
'I have received government assurances they will respect the ceasefire,' he said. 'If everyone respects it, I think by six in the morning on Thursday we shall see improved conditions on the ground.'
Despite reports from the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) that 1,000 people have died in the last eight days, Annan has refused to give up on his plan.
'We still have time between now and April 12th to stop the violence,' he said on Tuesday after visiting a refugee camp of the Syrians on the Turkish border.
'It's a plan we're all fighting to implement ... It's a plan the Syrians have endorsed, and from the comments made by the opposition, they are also prepared to go along with it if the government meets its commitments to pull the troops out.'
Rebuffing claims that his plan had already failed, Annan asked: 'If you want to take it off the table, what you would replace it with?'
Courtesy: The Guardian and Wikipedia for the background
Since February 2012, Annan has been the UN-Arab League Envoy in Syrian Affairs, commissioned to help find a resolution to ongoing conflict there.