UN-Arab League Envoy Encouraged by Reports of Relative Calm in Syria

NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–12 April 2012.  The Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, Kofi Annan, said that he is encouraged by reports that the situation in Syria is relatively quiet today and that the cessation of hostilities appears to be holding.

“Syria is apparently experiencing a rare moment of calm on the ground,” Mr. Annan said in a statement on the day that a ceasefire that he brokered was to take effect. “This is bringing much-needed relief and hope to the Syrian people who have suffered so much for so long in this brutal conflict.”

He said calm must now be sustained and that all parties have obligations to fully implement his six-point plan to bring the violence to an end. The plan includes both the military provisions and a commitment to start a political process that will addresses the aspirations of the Syrian people.

“I urge all Syrian to seize this opportunity. The international community is determined to work with the Syrian people to support this process,” said Mr. Annan, who briefed the Security Council today via video-link on the latest developments.

He said that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be asking the Security Council to approve the deployment of a UN observer mission as soon as possible, a move that would allow quick progress towards the launch of serious political dialogue.

“This is the time for all Syrians to come together in the hope that they can begin to heal their wounds and initiate a political transition to a democratic, plural political system, in which citizens have equal rights and equal opportunities, regardless of their affiliations or ethnicities or beliefs,” said Mr. Annan.

The violence in Syria, which began in March 2011 as a protest movement similar to those witnessed across the Middle East and North Africa, has claimed over 8,000 lives, mostly civilians, and displaced tens of thousands.