DHAKA: Iran should be part of the solution to Syria’s crisis, envoy Kofi Annan said while calling for ‘additional pressure’ against Damascus during a meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington.
The suggestion, however, was quickly rebuffed by the US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, who said Iran was a ‘spoiler’ and ‘part of the problem in Syria’.
Annan, the author of a fledgling peace plan on Syria, nonetheless called for ‘additional pressure’ in the United States, reports Hurriyet Daily News.
Opening a meeting with Clinton, Annan said he would discuss ‘how we can put additional pressure on the government and the parties to get the plan implemented’.
Annan said, ‘everyone is looking for a solution’ but acknowledged doubts about the deal he brokered, which called for a cease-fire and dialogue to end violence two months ago.
Annan told the UN Security Council on June 7 that he was in discussions to set up an international contact group on the Syria crisis.
France also backs the bid for a new contract group, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said, but diplomats added it is also opposed to inviting Iran.
The Syria crisis will quickly ‘spiral out of control’ unless substantial pressure is put on President Bashar al-Assad, Annan also said.
On June 7, UN leader Ban Ki-moon said Syria was heading toward an ‘imminent’ civil war and highlighted growing attacks on UN observers as a problem.
Annan called for international unity after activists said at least 100 people were killed in an assault on the Sunni village of al-Qubair, a remote farming area near Hama, the latest reported massacre blamed on pro-al-Assad forces.
UN observers entered the massacre site in al-Qubair, an activist said June 8, a day after they were blocked from reaching it by troops.
BDST: 2026 HRS, JUN 9, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor
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