Syria response 'a disappointment' to Annan
UN and Arab League envoy to Syria Kofi Annan has described the official response from Damascus to his recent peace proposals as “disappointing”. Mr Annan made this announcement during a video conference dedicated to the results of his visit to Syria.
The UN and Arab League envoy to Syria urged Security Council members to support the general effort to secure a ceasefire agreement on Syria. He said that he felt substantial backing from the Security Council and the Council's determination to work together on resolving the Syrian crisis.
Syria's Ambassador to the UN Bashar Ja’afari assured Security Council members after the briefing that Damascus the success of their peace mission was in Syria's interests. The parties concerned thereby made it clear that they were open to further contact. Some western media, however, have different ideas. The CNN was quick to announce that Kofi Annan’s mission had failed. Representatives of the Syrian opposition also reported that the mission had failed. These reports left Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov disappointed.
"Surprisingly, two days after Mr Annan's first visit, representatives of the Syrian National Transitional Council announced that his mission was a failure. It was an irresponsible step to make. Moscow has been in contact with Kofi Annan on a daily basis while at the same time encouraging Damascus to cooperate with the mission."
Russia hopes that all the Security Council members will support Mr Annan’s mission, Mr Lavrov said.
"Not only Russia and China, but other members of the Security Council should join in the effort to appeal to the Syrian opposition urging it to refrain from making things worse and respond to the envoy's proposals in a constructive way."
Even though Russia doesn’t agree to a number of decisions taken by the Syrian leadership, it will do its utmost to secure a political dialogue in Syria, Lavrov said in a Rossiya One interview on Saturday.
Meanwhile, there have been reports about new clashes between Syrian opposition and government forces in the past two days.
A Voice of Russia correspondent met Irina Zvyagelskaya of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who said that President Bashar al-Assad enjoyed strong domestic support.
"Opposition forces based outside Syria, along with some Arab and western countries, are against Assad. But he enjoys tremendous support within Syria. No one knows what will happen if he steps down. Many opposition leaders I talked to, including a lot of radical-minded politicians, don’t have the slightest idea what would happen in the event of Assad’s departure. They have no national reconciliation strategy. And they are completely unprepared to conduct a dialogue with minority groups to ensure the safety of those who used to belong to the Baath Party."
There are no grounds to believe that the opposition will settle all the problems if it comes to power in Syria. Libya serves as glaring proof of that. One year after the so-called “revolution”, Libya is falling apart. The Libyan authorities, who came to power thanks to the support from NATO and a number of Arab countries, are powerless to keep the situation in the country under control.