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UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan to visit Damascus
Former UN chief Kofi Annan is headed for Damascus Saturday in his first official trip as the UN-Arab League special envoy to Syria. The UN has reported that at least 7500 people have been killed in Syria in an almost year-long crackdown.
REUTERS - The U.N.-Arab League special envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, will travel to Damascus on Saturday for his first visit since being appointed to the post, the organisation said on Monday.
"Kofi Annan told me that Syria will receive him on March 10 and that he would arrive in Cairo on March 7," Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby told reporters at the group’s Cairo headquarters.
Annan was appointed last month as joint special envoy on the Syria crisis.
The United Nations says more than 7,500 people have been killed in an almost year-long crackdown on demonstrators against President Bashar al-Assad that was inspired by other ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa.
Nasser al-Kidwa, a Palestinian diplomat appointed as deputy to Annan will travel with him to Syria, Elaraby said.
Kidwa, a nephew of late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, is a member of current President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement and has previously served as a foreign minister and an envoy to the United Nations.
Kidwa was appointed after consultations with Annan and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the League said without specifying what his new role would entail.