UN's Annan arrives in Syria to mediate crisis
Kofi Annan, the joint special envoy of the UN and Arab League (AL) for Syria, arrived in the Syrian capital of Damascus on Saturday to mediate the year-long crisis, Xinhua reported.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday that Annan is scheduled to talk with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad upon arrival, adding that envoy's priority is to immediately halt all fighting by government forces and opposition fighters -- if not simultaneously, then first by government troops and followed by the opposition.
"I have very strongly urged Kofi Annan to ensure that there must be immediate ceasefire," he said.
"Annan will be meeting also with some civilian society leaders and whoever he may think necessary; he will be engaged in broadly with the government officials and civil society and humanitarian community," the secretary-general said.
Last month, the UN and AL jointly appointed former UN head Kofi Annan as a special envoy to handle the year-long crisis in Syria, and Syria extended welcome to Annan's upcoming visit last Monday.