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Kofi Annan asks UN Security Council to support deadline for cease-fire in Syria



by Joseph Earnest  April 2, 2012


Newscast Media NEW YORK UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan has apparently asked the UN Security Council to support a deadline of April 10 for the gradual implementation of his peace plan in Syria. Damascus has reportedly agreed to the deadline.

The government of Syria has agreed to an April 10 deadline to partially implement a plan to end violence in the country, UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan reportedly told the UN Security Council on Monday.

Diplomats said Annan asked the 15-nation council to support the deadline, which would include a full cease-fire within 48 hours. The peace plan includes a freeze on Syrian troop movements toward dissident cities and a halt to the use of heavy weapons.

The Assad regime had said it would accept the peace plan but did not initially specify when. Meanwhile fighting has continued, and at least 18 people were killed in Syria on Monday.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Monday that arming the opposition "would lead to a potentially dangerous proliferation of weapons in the region."

The issue of arming the rebels also divided an Arab League summit in Baghdad last week, where Qatar and Saudi Arabia - both advocates of supporting the rebels militarily - snubbed the conference by sending lower-level envoys instead of their heads of state.

A representative of the opposition Syrian National Council said on Monday that some Arab countries had already pledged arms to the rebels, but he implied that the exchange would take place in secret.

"The Free Syrian Army will be armed by some friendly countries, but this will not be done in the open and will be very soon," SNC member Sheikh Anas Airout told the DPA news agency.      Add Comments>>






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