Washington: Appalled by the loss of life, humanitarian crisis, and serious and widespread human rights abuses in Syria, the G8 leaders have backed the Kofi Annan plan to resolve the on-going crisis in the country.
"The Syrian government and all parties must immediately and fully adhere to commitments to implement the six-point plan of UN and Arab League Joint Special Envoy (JSE) Kofi Annan, including immediately ceasing all violence so as to enable a Syrian-led, inclusive political transition leading to a democratic, plural political system," the G8 leaders said yesterday in a Camp David declaration issued at the end of their two-day meetings in this historic presidential retreat.
"We support the efforts of JSE Annan and look forward to seeing his evaluation, during his forthcoming report to the UN Security Council, of the prospects for beginning this political transition process in the near-term," the Camp David declaration said and demanded that the use of force endangering the lives of civilians must cease.
The Camp David declaration called on the Syrian government to grant safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel to populations in need of assistance in accordance with international law.
"We welcome the deployment of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria, and urge all parties, in particular the Syrian government, to fully cooperate with the mission," it said.
"We strongly condemn recent terrorist attacks in Syria. We remain deeply concerned about the threat to regional peace and security and humanitarian despair caused by the crisis and remain resolved to consider further UN measures as appropriate," the declaration said.
Earlier in the day, the US President Barack Obama said they all believe that a peaceful resolution and political transition in Syria is preferable, adding that the G8 leaders are all concerned about the violence taking place there.
Supportive of the Annan plan, Obama said that while this
will be reflected in the G8 communique, they believe that the Annan plan "has to be fully implemented and that a political process has to move forward in a more timely fashion."
Later at a briefing with journalists at Camp David, the Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said the Annan plan, among other things, speaks to the need for a political process within the country.
"It was our objective at this G8 to lift up the political transition component of the Annan plan, because it`s our assessment that you`re not going to be able to solve this problem just with monitors and ceasefires; that you need to have a political transition underway that is responsive to the Syrian people, because otherwise you`re not going to actually solve the problem," he said.
Observing that stopping the violence depends on political transition, Rhodes said the G8 leaders were able to share different ideas as to how a political transition could take place.
"We, for instance, identified the example of Yemen, for instance, where you had a leader leave power, do so peacefully, lead into a democratic political process that is underway that includes changes to the constitution of the country and an inclusive political process. Obviously every country is different, so you can`t replicate exactly what happens in one country in another," he said.
"But our point was that we need to see a political transition underway that brings real change to Syria. We believe that change has to include Bashir al Assad leaving power," Rhodes said.
"And unless you begin a process of a political transition of some sort, you`re not going to be able to deal with reducing the violence and addressing the grievances of the people who came out in the street to start with," he observed.