World urges support to Annan plan amid persistent violence in Syria
The international community called for support to the six-point peace plan of UN and Arab League joint envoy Kofi Annan amid continuing violence in Syria on Monday.
Damascus (Syria): The international community called for support to the six-point peace plan of UN and Arab League joint envoy Kofi Annan amid continuing violence in Syria on Monday.
A suicide bomb car tore through a roundabout in Syria`s northern Idlib province on Monday, leaving a number of injuries, including a child, pro-government al-Ekhbaria TV said.
It said that the blast occurred just 500 meters away from a hotel where the UN observers are currently residing, but did not disclose further details.
On the opposition side, the activists` network, Local Coordination Committees, said as many as 23 people were killed across Syria on Monday, blaming the government troops for the killings.
Also on Monday, an al Qaeda-inspired group, called the al-Nusra Front to Protect the Levant, claimed responsibility for the killing of 13 people last week in Syria`s eastern Deir al-Zour province, state-run SANA news agency reported.
The simmering violence has made the Syrian army reinforce its posts with T52 tanks and long-range artillery mortars all along its borders with Lebanon during the past 48 hours, in anticipation of any infiltration or arms smuggling, Lebanese security sources told Xinhua on Monday.
The conflict-torn country has witnessed 15 months of unrest since March 2011, when a large-scale uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began.
Violence has notably ramped up recently despite the presence of UN monitors, who arrived in Syria in April to shore up Annan`s six-point peace plan aimed at ending the Syria crisis.
The six-point peace plan, which went into effect on April 12, calls on all sides to halt the violence and pave the way for a conclusive dialogue between the government and the opposition.
However, the Syrian opposition said on Monday that they have decided to end their commitment to the peace plan and have resumed attacks on some checkpoints, as they believed Assad had failed to observe the Friday deadline that they had set to end the violence.
The international community is still trying to revive Annan`s plan. On Monday, the UN Security Council (UNSC) rotating president Li Baodong, also China`s UN ambassador, said all parties concerned should fully support and cooperate with Annan`s mediation efforts, and any words or actions against his mediation should be firmly opposed.
He also urged the Syrian government and the opposition to immediately and fully implement Annan`s six-point plan under the principles of objectivity, fairness and balance, abandon all forms of violence and start the political process as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy on Monday called on the European Union (EU) and Russia to "fully agree" with Annan`s peace plan and to work together to find common approaches to the Syria crisis at a press conference after the 29th Russia-EU summit.
He urged the Syrian government to immediately cease violence and provide full support to the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS).
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Sunday that unfolding events in Syria demonstrated that there is no alternative to Annan`s peace plan, vowing that Moscow will maintain contacts with Syrian authorities and the opposition to facilitate a substantive political dialogue.
China also urged the international community to step up support for Annan`s mediation efforts, and Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said on Monday that all parties in Syria should immediately carry out the UNSC`s resolutions and cooperate with the UNSMIS.
Meanwhile, US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Monday that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Clinton, in her recent discussions with world leaders, has been calling for more pressure on Syrian President Assad to comply with the six-point peace plan.
Earlier, at a meeting of the Arab League foreign ministers in the Qatari capital of Doha on Saturday, the 22-member organization called on the UNSC to set a timetable for the implementation of Annan`s peace plan.
Qatar`s Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani called on the UNSC to put Annan`s plan under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, a measure that could authorize the use of force.