Syria- Annan: Some governments blocking peace process

Involve Iran in solution: Now is the time to act

22 June, 20:16

Annan gives press conference on Syria Annan gives press conference on Syria

(ANSAmed) - NEW YORK/GENEVA, JUNE 22 - "Some governments are endangering the peace process in Syria, risking to unleash a destructive struggle in the country": the words come from the United Nations and Arab League Special Envoy, Kofi Annan.

Iran should be among the group of countries called upon to work towards a solution of the crisis in Syria, Mr Annan said, announcing an international conference on Syria to be held in Switzerland at the end of this month. "The support of the whole of the international community is needed to resolve the situation in Syria, for which reason I have been in various world capitals over the past days to speak about the next steps to be taken to enact the peace plan". "We are in talks to organise a conference in Switzerland at the end of June".

Mr Annan explained that it was his personal wish to appeal to all combatants to lay down their arms for the good of the people. The Special Envoy reaffirmed that the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate each day: "The number of Syrians needing assistance has now reached 1.5 million" he said, stressing how 180 million dollars would be needed by the country, although only 42.7 million have been collected so far.

Mr Annan also said he had contacted the Damascus government directly to ask that the civilian population trapped inside Homs be given the chance to escape.

''Now is the time to act. The process in Syria must not be one without end" he appealed. "The more time we wait, the blacker will be the future for Syrians ". Mr Annan spurred on the international community to increase its pressure on Damascus, defending himself from criticism about the disappointing outcome of his plan. "When speaking of mediation, my mandate comes from the Security Council of the United Nations. And this Council may always decide to do something different and take other measures. I am just and 'agent' of the UN body".

The head of the UN observer mission in Syria, General Robert Mood, speaking in Geneva where he was accompanying Mr Annan, said he was "not at all convinced that increasing the number of observers or deciding to arm them would improve the situation".

On June 16 the observers suspended their activities due to the worsening security conditions; however, the UN observers continue to work in the country.

"We are continuing to work with the various sides by telephone and some patrols visit the hospitals to assess the situation," he said. (ANSAmed).

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