Annan: Russia gives "strong support" to solving Syria conflict
Russian leaders have given "strong support" to diplomatic efforts to settle the conflict in Syria, the United Nations-Arab League envoy for Syria, Kofi Annan, said Monday in Moscow, dpa reported.
Annan said that his discussion with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Sunday focused on "starting the political process that will respect the aspirations of the Syrian people and help us resolve the crisis peacefully."
"I had very strong support here in Moscow," he said. The transcript of his remarks in Moscow was provided to reporters at UN headquarters in New York.
Annan later flew to Beijing, where he plans to seek similar backup.
"And I leave for China this evening, and I do expect to get similar support," he said.
"I took on this job not only to help but, above all, to help the Syrian people. They deserve better," he added.
Annan's six-point plan calls for ending the year-old violence with a UN-supervised ceasefire, unfettered access for humanitarian assistance to Syrians caught in the conflict, release of those detained in the unrest and a start to a Syrian-led inclusive process leading to a multi-party political system.
"But the message I would also like to put out today is that the transformational winds blowing today cannot be easily resisted, or cannot be resisted for long," Annan said.
"The only way to deal with this is through reform, through change - and change that respects democratic principles, individual dignity, the rule of law and human rights."
Annan said Russian leaders are determined to work with him and Syrian parties to bring a peaceful solution to the conflict, which the UN said has killed more than 8,000 people since March 2011.
Annan, a former UN secretary general, said he had called on Moscow recently to support his position and deliver a message to Syria.
"I know they did, and it had a positive impact, and I expect them to continue to work with me in that direction," he said.