CAIRO - Kofi Annan, the UN-Arab League special envoy on Syria, will urge government and opposition to halt violence and seek a political settlement after a year of conflict when he makes his first trip to Damascus next week, he said on Thursday.
"As I move to Syria, we will do whatever we can to urge and press for a cessation of hostilities and end to the killing and violence. The Syrian people deserve better. This is an ancient and brave people who are caught in the middle," Annan said after talks with the Egyptian foreign minister."But of course, ultimately the solution lies in a political settlement. We will be urging the government and a broad spectrum of Syrian opposition to come together to work with us to find a solution that will respect the aspirations of the Syrian people," he said.
Annan, who is due to visit Syria on March 10, was to hold talks later on Thursday in Cairo with Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby.