Gulf states losing faith in Annan Syria plan-Saudi FM


JEDDAH, Saudia Arabia – Gulf Arab states have begun to lose hope that international envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan can end more than a year of violence in Syria, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said on Tuesday.

Prince Saud al-Faisal

Prince Saud al-Faisal also called on the U.N. Security Council to put Annan’s plan under Chapter 7 of the U.N. charter, a measure that could authorize the use of force. The Annan plan calls for a negotiated end to the Syrian crisis after a ceasefire that has yet to take hold.

“We have begun to lose hope in the possibility of reaching a solution … within this framework,” Prince Saud told reporters in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah, referring to the Annan initiative.

“The U.N. Security Council is responsible for its duties… to take the appropriate measures to ensure the immediate application of the joint envoy’s (plan), including resorting to article 7 in the charter,” he added, following a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

After an initial lull in fighting following Annan’s declaration of a ceasefire on April 12, government forces ignored the truce call despite the presence of a 300-strong U.N. observer team. The rebels said on Monday that they had abandoned their commitment to the ceasefire.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao urged all nations on Tuesday to support Annan’s mediation, the U.N. monitors and a political solution in Syria.

Source: Reuters

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