Obama, Merkel: Assad not complying with Annan pact

By REUTERS
April 12, 2012 06:10

WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a phone conversation on Wednesday that the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad was not complying with a peace agreement negotiated by UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, the White House said.

Damascus had agreed to a UN Security Council-backed deadline of Tuesday to withdraw troops from Syrian towns and stop using heavy weapons.

That missed deadline was supposed to be followed by a full ceasefire by the Syrian army and opposition forces on Thursday morning, but fierce fighting has continued.

"On Syria, the president and chancellor shared the concern that the Assad government was not complying with the terms of the agreement negotiated by Kofi Annan and continued to engage in unacceptable brutality against its own people," the White House said in a statement about Obama's call with Merkel.

"They agreed that this underscored the need for the UN Security Council to come together to take more resolute action."

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