For Syrian priest, Assad’s acceptance of Annan plan

For Syrian priest, Assad’s acceptance of Annan plan
is a sign of hope
For former UN secretary
general, Syrian president’s agreement is a first step towards peace between
government and rebels. Opposition groups push for military intervention and a
buffer zone on Turkish border.

Damascus (AsiaNews) – “Assad’s assent is a sign of hope for the entire Syrian
people that now must wait for concrete action by the government,” said
Fr Nawras Sammour as he spoke to AsiaNews about President Bashar
al-Assad’s acceptance of the peace plan put forward by UN envoy Kofi Annan. For
the Jesuit missionary, the proposal by the United Nations and the international
community is the “only way to lay down weapons and end a year of clashes and

Syria’s government has agreed to the peace plan today, said Ahmad Fawzi,
spokesman of the former UN secretary general. For Annan, who is in Beijing to
meet with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Assad’s agreement is a first step to end
the violence and start talks between the regime and rebels. The UN envoy has
already has written to President Assad urging him to put his commitment into
immediate effect.

The six-point plan, which is backed by the UN Security Council, calls for an
end to the violence, the gradual implementation of a ceasefire, sending
humanitarian aid, the release of people detained without trial, the free
movement of journalists and talks between the government and opposition.

The Syrian National Council (SNC) is sceptical however. Its leaders stress
that without an ultimatum, the regime will continue its offensive.

Together with the Turkish government, they call for military support to the
Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the creation of a buffer zone on the Turkish


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