Syria meeting to 'give teeth' to Annan plan

By REUTERS
June 12, 2012 14:08

Annan's spokesman says "contact group" to discuss how to make Syrian government, opposition abide by peace plan.

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UN-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan

UN-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan 370 (R). (photo credit:REUTERS/Allison Joyce)

GENEVA - An international "contact group" on Syria will meet soon to discuss how to make Syria's government and opposition groups abide by a peace plan brokered by Kofi Annan, his spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said on Tuesday.

"The objective of creating this group is to give teeth to the plan, to convince the parties to implement the plan in its entirety. It is not to create a new plan," Fawzi told a regular UN media briefing.

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The contact group meeting has been in doubt because of US opposition to Iran's involvement.

Iran, along with Russia and China, which both blocked early UN Security Council efforts to put pressure on Syria, backs Syria's government, despite UN human rights investigators accusing it of committing crimes against humanity.

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Although the list of participants and the venue for the meeting have yet to be agreed, Annan was hopeful, Fawzi said.

"He is encouraged by signs that member states are taking it very seriously, in fact we have heard that the Russians are calling on (UN) member states with influence to get together," he said. "It is coming together. Diplomacy has intensified."

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