Annan sets April 12 as Syria ceasefire, violence continues

Annan sets April 12 as Syria ceasefire, violence continues

UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan said Thursday both Syria government forces and opposition rebels had committed to a ceasefire starting April 12 at 6 am local time, dpa reported.

"I urge the government and the opposition commanders to issue clear instructions so that the message reaches across the country, down to the fighter and soldier at the local level," Annan told the UN General Assembly in New York.

The ceasefire is part of a plan proposed by Annan to end the conflict, which started more than a year ago with mass protests to demand the President Bashar al-Assad step down.

Annan said Thursday Damascus had issued instructions to its armed forces to start pulling back from populated areas, to halt new troops movements as well as end the use of heavy weapons.

He said "interlocutors" in the opposition had expressed commitment and readiness to cease the violence within 48 hours of April 10, in line with demands by the UN Security Council.

"All parties must immediately cease all violence," Annan said in a videoconference with the UN agency.

He added that the ceasefire was the top priority in his six-point plan that Damascus had agreed to implement.

The 15-nation council Thursday issued a statement supporting Annan's plan that also calls for access to humanitarian services and talks between the Syrian government and the opposition.

The council added it was ready to "authorize an effective and impartial supervision mechanism upon implementation of a cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties."

In Damascus, a UN advance team discussed with Syrian officials the deployment of peace observers, as activists reported new violence around the country.

"The team is already in Syria. They are the guests of the Syrian government. Their talks are being held at the Foreign Ministry," UN spokesman in Syria Khaled al-Masri told dpa.

A UN source has said Major General Robert Mood from Norway, who has vast experience in peacekeeping missions, will be heading the observer mission once a ceasefire is in place.

"The focus of the UN team's talks is on the logistics, once a ceasefire is implemented, and where the monitors will be positioned," a Western diplomat based in Beirut told dpa.

"There will be some 250-300 observers and the UN has already started to ask member states if they would like to send troops to participate in the mission," the diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

Syrian state-run media reported that troops had withdrawn from some areas in Daraa in the south, Idlib in the north, and Zabadani on the outskirts of Damascus. The opposition dismissed the report.

"What kind of a withdrawal is the regime talking about?" Waldi al- Buni, a Syrian opposition politician, said. "Today there are military operations across Syria and more reinforcements on the ground."

At least eight Syrian soldiers were killed in fierce fighting with army defectors in the district of Deir Balaba in the volatile province of Homs, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Seven civilians were killed in government shelling of the province, added the group added.

Activists near Damascus told dpa that troops had attacked the city's suburban area of Douma, adding it was the worst assault on the area since an anti-government uprising started in March 2011.

At least five civilians were killed in the attack, they said.

"The regime is now focusing on Douma because they believe a number of the opposition Syrian Free Army are hiding inside the area and are planning attacks inside the capital," said Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The observatory said troops had clashed with army defectors in the northern towns of Hraytan and Anadan near Syria's third largest city of Aleppo. Three people were killed in the fighting, it added.

The state news agency SANA reported that authorities had foiled an infiltration attempt into Homs by an "armed terrorist group" in neighbouring Lebanon. "One terrorist was arrested while the others fled," it added.

News from Syria is hard to verify as the government bars most foreign media from restive areas.

More than 9,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict started, according to the UN.

Iranian parliament suspends holding plenary session
Iranian parliament suspends holding plenary session
Pakistani FM to visit Iran
Pakistani FM to visit Iran
Iran welcomes dialogue with Saudi Arabia - MFA
Iran welcomes dialogue with Saudi Arabia - MFA
Loading Bars
Georgia reveals share of domestic exports
President Aliyev inquires on restoration work process in liberated lands
Interest rate unlikely to decrease in Azerbaijan – Unicapital company
New CEO of Azercell Telecom LLC appointed in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan's Azeronline eyes to expand coverage to remote areas
Azerbaijan discloses volume of exported oil bitumen
Armenia delaying process of restoring communications - Azerbaijani MP
Azerbaijani people won't forget Armenian crimes, but country looking into future - MP
Azerbaijan, Turkic Council reach preliminary agreement on digital co-op (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan Insurers Association talks about current state of COVID-19 products
Housing prices down in secondary market of Azerbaijan’s Baku
Atrocities committed by Armenians have no analogues – journalist (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan’s Bank VTB ends 1Q2021 with net profit
Water and electricity facilities to be put into operation in Iran
Cars re-export sees significant decline in Georgia
Romania has good prospects for reboot of economic co-op with Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan announces 1Q2021 foreign trade turnover figures
Azerbaijani Bank BTB's total liabilities decrease in 1Q2021
Iranian parliament suspends holding plenary session
Azerbaijan shows footage from Ismayilbayli village of Aghdam district (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Visit of Israeli journalists to Azerbaijan’s Aghdam district ends (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan's 1Q2021 petrochemicals production value down
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on April 20
Nobel Oil Services further strengthens its Board of Directors
Lending to industry, manufacturing sector decreases in Azerbaijan
Georgia's car export to Azerbaijan down
Turkmenistan offers business opportunities for Swiss private sector in number of areas
Georgian TBC Bank sees increase in volume of non-performing loans
Shah Deniz to account for major part of 2021 gas output growth in Azerbaijan
Aggregate assets of Azerbaijan's Bank VTB down
Record mortgage taking in Israel in Q1
Israel Hayom newspaper reporter saddened by destroyed mosque in Azerbaijan's Aghdam
Iran's Parliament expects to finalize removal of zeros from national currency
Turkey's furniture, wood exports to Azerbaijan increase
Iran intends to increase exports – Deputy Minister
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to fall
Iran provides permit to private companies to import COVID-19 vaccine
Kazakhstan's Tethys Petroleum completes private placement with Pope Investments II LLC
Кazakh national telecommunications operator opens tender to buy spares
WB offers Kazakhstan to switch sewage treatment system to market financing
SES connectivity solutions provider to develop satellite-enabled services in Kazakhstan
Belarusian Belavia Airlines extends suspension of flights to Turkmenistan
Gold mining enterprise's construction kicks off in Kazakh Zhambyl region
Azerbaijan gives update on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 995 more COVID-19 cases, 1,136 recoveries
Presentation of new equipment in Iran’s electricity sector to be held
‘Lift embargo on vaccine raw material exports’: SII’s Poonawalla requests US President Biden
Indian economy better placed to meet second Covid wave with vaccination drive: CEA
10 Democrats Ask Biden To Back India's Waiver Bid At WTO
‘Utilise entire national capacity for vaccine production’: PM Modi reviews Covid situation
FM: Hopeful of getting rest of vaccine doses from India as scheduled
Iran continues preferential trade talks with five countries
Facebook signs renewable energy deal in India
Iran’s natural gas consumption rises
Fiscal package may be on cards to maintain India's economic recovery amid Covid resurgence
JCPOA negotiations reach progress, Iran's MFA spokesman says
Pakistani FM to visit Iran
Kazakhstan increases some ores output
Iran welcomes dialogue with Saudi Arabia - MFA
Azerbaijani payment system expands fintech services for SME industry
Georgia increases oil import from Azerbaijan
Iran's FM stresses need to finalize preferential tariff agreement with Indonesia
Austria will only use Sputnik V vaccine after EMA approval
Iran's renewable power plants ready to attract foreign investments
Kazakhstan's trade turnover with Uzbekistan surges
Volume of trade turnover in Turkmenistan’s private sector increased
Georgia decreases gas import from Azerbaijan
Foreign trade turnover between Georgia and Azerbaijan declines
Russia detects 192 cases of UK coronavirus strain, 21 cases of South African strain
Azerbaijan discloses fixed capital receipts from foreign investments
Coca-Cola revenue rises past estimates on easing pandemic curbs
Kazakhstan boosts revenues from air cargo transportation
Azerbaijan's State Customs Committee eyes to use eTIR procedure on all transport routes
TRACECA Permanent Representative talks cargo traffic growth on Azerbaijani section
Azerbaijan sees decrease in unemployment
Sunflower imports down in Georgia
Azerbaijan reveals data on cargo shipment from Baku port
Azerbaijan discloses volume of receipts in fixed assets for Q1 2021
Kazakhstan boosts imports from Turkmenistan y-o-y
Turkmenbashi Oil Refineries extends tender for purchase of gasoline
Italian companies ready to make investments in Iran
Japanese NEXI, Azerbaijan's Economy Ministry sign co-op memorandum
Iran's top nuclear negotiator talks revival of JCPOA, following JCPOA talks
Iran waiting for Vienna talks outcome to get its gas, electricity debts from Iraq
Azerbaijan to purchase tractors from Belarus
Azerbaijan creates working group to prepare "Smart City" and "Smart Village" concept
Turkmenistan Airlines change concept of cargo transportation
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for April 19
Uzbekistan's chemical imports from Turkey grows
Iran's renewable energy power plants increasing production
Azerbaijan appoints new ambassadors to several countries
Turkmenistan's Balkan region opens tender for construction of new village
Georgia sees increase in electricity imports from Azerbaijan
Azerbaijani president signs order to recall ambassador to Spain and Andorra
Britain’s M&S to boost online capacity with second warehouse
Azerbaijan appoints new ambassador to Spain
Iranian banks should stick to interest rates set by Central Bank - CBI governor
Exports from Iran's Gilan Province rise
Iran announces new rules for cryptocurrency mining
Technip Energies completes overhaul of SOCAR’s petrochemical complex
All news