President Assad trying to gain time
Azerbaijan, Baku, 3 April / Trend A.Tagieva /
The agreement of the Syrian authorities to fulfill the plan of UN-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan is not nothing but a chance to gain time and stay in power, Jordanian expert on Middle East Saleh Zaitoon believes.
"At first glance it may seem that Assad is trying to resolve the crisis in the country. However, if you read the terms with which he accepted the initiative of Annan, it becomes clear that the Syrian authorities will not implement this plan either," Zaitoon told Trend on Tuesday.
The expert said Damascus accepted the terms of Annan, but provided it be granted a protocol detailing where and how international observers will conduct their work. This in fact means that the government will monitor the activities of observers in the country and they will not be given freedom in carrying out their mission, Zaitoon said.
He also noted that the passivity of the West and its unwillingness to support the Syrian opposition by arms may be explained by the fact that the West fears that the weapons will fall into the hands of extremist Islamists.
US Ambassador Susan Rice told reporters that Kofi Annan, the UN-Arab League envoy, told the UN Security Council that Syria informed him on Sunday of the agreement to stop the fighting on April 10.
The Annan Plan provides for the fulfillment by the Syrian government and the opposition of a number of obligations, in particular, the cessation of armed violence by all parties under the effective control of a special UN mechanism, provision of humanitarian assistance to the victims and launch of inter-Syrian political dialogue.
The UN says more than 9,000 people have died since pro-democracy protests erupted in Syria more than a year ago. The Syrian government insists it is combating "armed terrorist gangs" who are seeking to destabilize Syria.