Annan peace plan 'last chance for Syria'

Annan peace plan 'last chance for Syria'

Turkey has declared that a peace plan by UN envoy Kofi Annan is the “last chance” for the embattled Syrian regime and that it will face “strong measures” from the international community if it fails to implement the deal.

Foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu did not specify what those measures might be, saying it was the responsibility of the UN Security Council to address the matter.

However, Russia and China have blocked action at the United Nations against Syrian president Bashar Assad, and Turkey and its allies are frustrated over the lack of international consensus on the Syrian crackdown.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar want to arm Syrian rebels, but Turkey and the United States have so far resisted the idea amid doubts over the composition of scattered opposition forces and fears that an influx of weapons into Syria could escalate the conflict.

Turkey, which shares a long border with Syria, is making contingency plans for a buffer zone in Syria if refugee flows become overwhelming.

Mr Davutoglu said there was a danger that Syria might try to use Mr Annan’s plan as a way to buy time, promising to stop its attacks on the opposition, which includes rebel groups, but actually continuing with repression even though it agreed to the envoy’s proposals.

“We support this initiative. At the same time, we know from the previous experiences that if the regime perceives that there is a new time being given to them because of this initiative, they continue to oppress more and to do more killing,” he said.

Mr Annan’s plan calls for an immediate, two-hour halt in fighting everyday to allow humanitarian access and medical evacuations. The plan also outlines a complete cease-fire, but that will take more time because Syria must first move troops and equipment out of cities and towns. But clashes and protests broke out across many parts of Syria in a sign of how hard it will be for the plan to take hold.

Mr Davutoglu, whose government has said Mr Assad should resign, described Mr Annan’s plan as the beginning of a process. The six-point deal also calls for an inclusive, Syrian-led political process to address the concerns of citizens.

“That’s the minimum – what the regime must do and must do urgently without any delay,” he said. “If that delay continues and people are being killed every day, more and more casualties being in the news, of course the hope for the Annan plan will be lost.”

More on this topic

Militants pull out of key rebel town as Syrian troops push inMilitants pull out of key rebel town as Syrian troops push in

Holly Willoughby ‘honoured’ by interview with Syrian child refugeeHolly Willoughby ‘honoured’ by interview with Syrian child refugee

The world 'shrugs' as more than 100 people killed in airstrikes in Syria in 10 daysThe world 'shrugs' as more than 100 people killed in airstrikes in Syria in 10 days

Two Syrians killed in ‘terror’ blast in Turkish border cityTwo Syrians killed in ‘terror’ blast in Turkish border city

More in this Section

Boris Johnson putting feet on Macron’s table ’embarrassing’ – Alastair CampbellBoris Johnson putting feet on Macron’s table ’embarrassing’ – Alastair Campbell

Malaria control success in Africa ‘at risk from spread of multi-drug resistance’Malaria control success in Africa ‘at risk from spread of multi-drug resistance’

Rapper Kodak Black pleads guilty in federal weapons caseRapper Kodak Black pleads guilty in federal weapons case

Man who filmed Grenfell Tower bonfire clearedMan who filmed Grenfell Tower bonfire cleared


Lifestyle

A parent coach says parents are often the best judge of how to care for their baby – and explains how they can learn to have faith in their intuition.Ask an expert: How can I know what’s best for my baby?

We take a trip down memory lane and check out what happened on this day in years gone by by looking back at some Irish Examiner front pages and highlighting other events which went down in history across the world.August 23, 2019: A look back at what happened on this day in years gone by

RP O’Donnell says it is hard to find anywhere better than Boston to show your family a great time as he returns to a city he used to call homeA family friendly holiday guide to get the best out of beautiful Boston

Leslie Williams sampled the seafood at Cavistons in Dublin.Restaurant Review: Cavistons - Charming staff, the freshest fish, solid cooking

More From The Irish Examiner