| Syrian president Bashar al-Assad (R) meets with UN-Arab League special envoy to Syria Kofi Annan in Damascus, Syria, July 9, 2012. Annan said Monday he has concluded an approach with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad regarding ending the violence, adding that the approach will be also shared with the armed opposition. (Xinhua/Syrian News Agency) |
Annan, who flew in Sunday afternoon, met Monday with president Assad. He regarded his discussions with embattled leader as "constructive."
"We discussed the need to end the violence and ways and means of doing so and we agreed on an approach, which I will share with the armed opposition," Annan told reporters in Damascus after meeting Assad.
Annan, however, stopped short of specifying the details of the new approach, but stressed the importance of pressing ahead with the political dialogue.
He said the six-point peace plan should be implemented in a " better fashion."
He called on all influential countries to help in serving the new approach to end the 16-months unrest.
Annan recently offered a few suggestions on how to salvage the peace plan in an interview with Guardian, saying that Iran has a role to play in resolving the crisis, a suggestion rejected by the U.S. and its western allies.
Sources told Xinhua anonymously that Annan will head Monday afternoon to Iran to meet with officials there.
The latest Middle Eastern leg of Annan's tour is apparently meant to serve his latest suggestion, inviting Iran to join the efforts to resolve the 16-month-old unrest.
It is not immediately clear what Annan wants Tehran to do regarding the Syrian situation, but the move came after he expressed discontent with the international wrangling on the Syrian issue.
In his interview with French daily Le Monde on Saturday, Annan said the international community's efforts to bring the 16-months unrest in Syria to an end politically have failed. "The evidence shows that we have not succeeded."
He noted that the divisions between regional and world powers over how to resolve the Syrian issue are making the situation worse.
He also told Guardian that Syria will face a spreading civil war unless Russia, the West and the Arab states end their "destructive competition" over the Syrian issue.
"Russia does have influence and can encourage the Syrian government to implement fully the six-point plan and Security Council resolutions. But this task cannot be left to the Russians alone. I expect Iran to play a role. Those governments -- the U.S. and the Friends of Syria -- that have influence with the opposition should also play a role. If they continue with this destructive competition, everyone will lose," Annan told Guardian.
"They (the West) accuse the Russians of arming the (Syrian) government. The Russians accuse them of arming the opposition and flooding the place with weapons. This is instead of coming together to see what can be done," he said.
The intractable crisis in Syria has recently careened toward a sectarian conflict between the majority Sunni and the Alawati sect, to which Assad and the ruling elite belong. Such sectarian conflict has long been seen in the restive provinces of Idlib and Homs, while in the capital, assassinations and killings suggest the same momentum. VietNamNet/Xinhuanet