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Syrian Ceasefire Only 1st Step in Annan’s Plan – Clinton

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomed on Thursday the ceasefire in Syria, but said it is only a "first step" in the implementation of Kofi Annan's plan.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomed on Thursday the ceasefire in Syria, but said it is only a "first step" in the implementation of Kofi Annan's plan.

The six-point plan, proposed by UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan and approved by the UN Security Council, includes a pullback of troops from the cities, a halt to fighting, the release of unjustly arrested people, and respect for the people's right to peaceful protest and for press freedom.

Clinton, who spoke after a meeting of G8 foreign ministers in Washington, said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad can not “pick and choose” what parts of the plan he wants to accept and implement and urged the Syrian government to withdraw troops from all cities and accept a transition of political power.

The UN-backed Syrian ceasefire plan appeared to take hold on Thursday, lifting hopes for an end to the deadly clashes between opposition and pro-government forces that have killed over 9,000 people in the past year.

Annan negotiated a ceasefire last month, which both parties reluctantly agreed to support. However, Syrian opposition activists said infighting intensified ahead of the deadline, which was initially set for Tuesday but was then pushed back two days.

 

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