Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Historic day for Nigeria and day of hope for Africa

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Historic Election: The Return of Muhammadu Buhari (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Historic Election: The Return of Muhammadu Buhari (part 1)

Read more

FOCUS

The rise of Hindu far-right groups

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: San Cristobal, Venezuela's tinderbox

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Rebuilding attacked churches in Niger, and illegal fishing in Iran

Read more

#THE 51%

The extraordinary tale of the Egyptian mother who lived as a man

Read more

ENCORE!

Film Show : 'Suite française', 'Shaun the sheep' and 'A perfect man'

Read more

FOCUS

Strait of Hormuz: a smuggler's paradise

Read more

Middle east

Kofi Annan to hold second round of talks with Assad

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-03-11

UN-Arab league envoy Kofi Annan was set to hold a second round of talks with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad on Sunday. Al-Assad had warned Annan on Saturday there would be no peace as long as “terrorist groups” remained active in Syria.

AP - United Nations envoy Kofi Annan will hold a second meeting with the country’s President Bashar Assad on Sunday to discuss proposals for stopping violence and starting a political dialogue, a U.N. official in Damascus said.

In his talks with Assad on Saturday, Annan made several proposals towards ending the country’s yearlong political crisis. He was rebuffed by the president who rejected any immediate negotiations with the opposition, striking a further blow to already staggering international efforts for talks to end the conflict.

Assad told Annan that a political solution is impossible as long as “terrorist groups” threaten the country.

The opposition’s political leadership has also rejected dialogue, saying talk is impossible after a crackdown that the U.N. estimates has killed more than 7,500 people. That makes it likely that the conflict will continue to edge toward civil war.

The official said Annan is scheduled to meet with the country’s grand mufti, who is a senior cleric, and again with Assad Sunday before heading to the Gulf state of Qatar. He spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Meanwhile, activists said fresh violence erupted again in Syria’s northern Idlib province, where troops launched Saturday a long-anticipated assault to crush the opposition, bombarding its main city with tank shells from all sides and clashing with rebel fighters struggling to hold back an invasion.

Syrian forces had been building up for days around Idlib, the capital of a hilly, agricultural province along the Syria-Turkey border that has been a hotbed of protests against Assad’s regime.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of activists on the ground in Syria, said a civilian was killed Sunday in the village of al-Janoudieh where heavy clashes were taking place between troops and army defectors.

Three soldiers were also killed, the group said.

Troops had stormed the village in the northern Jisr al-Shughour area early
Sunday and began a campaign of raids and arrests, activists said.

 

Date created : 2012-03-11

  • SYRIA

    Arab League and Russia rule out intervention in Syria

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Syrian opposition rejects Kofi Annan's calls for dialogue

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Syrian forces kill dozens on eve of Kofi Annan visit

    Read more

COMMENT(S)