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Annan peace plan 'clearly on life support, but not dead yet'

May 31st, 2012
05:03 PM ET

By Lucky Gold

(CNN) – The massacre in Houla has been perceived by some as “the tipping point” in Syria – an atrocity so horrific that it will surely lead to the end of the Assad regime.  But Syrian President Bashar Assad remains in power and the opposition rebels are asking the world to declare the peace initiative of international envoy Kofi Annan officially dead.

Britain’s U.N. Ambassador, Mark Lyall Grant, isn’t prepared to pull the plug: “Clearly it is on life support but it isn’t dead, yet.”

Appearing Thursday on Amanpour, Ambassador Grant remained committed to the process:  “We are directing all our efforts into trying to make it work.  But I think to make it work we’re going to need to increase the international pressure on the Syrian regime… so that they begin to comply with the six point plan that Kofi Annan has set out.  But it isn’t dead yet.”

A tissue of lies

He insisted that UN observers play a crucial role in documenting the abuses of the Assad regime:  “We’re looking all the time at accountability,” he said. “We’ve had teams in the refugee camps in Lebanon and Turkey, getting eyewitness reports, so that we can eventually hold to account those who are responsible for human rights abuses and atrocities against the Syrian people.”

Among those atrocities is Houla and Ambassador Grant praised the role UN observers played in bringing that incident to light:  “To be honest, we would not know exactly what had happened in Houla had it not been for the observers able to go there, to demonstrate that there had been tank tracks, that there had been use of heavy artillery, that there had been a massacre by the Syrian regime.  Otherwise, people would give some credence to this report that the Syrian government has come out with today claiming that it was nothing to do with them.  We know that’s a tissue of lies partly because the UN observers are able to say so.”

But not at any cost

In the meantime, the UN waits to hear from Kofi Annan:  “If he says ‘I have reached the end of the road;’ if he says ‘I can no longer offer you any chance that this will lead to a political dialogue,’ then…we’re going to have to look to other options.”

By “other options” does he mean military intervention?  Ambassador Grant said, “I don’t think anything is being ruled out. But the whole point of what we’re trying to do at the UN is to maintain an international consensus. And pressure.  Don’t’ forget that for nine months we were unable to do anything in the Security Council.  We tried two resolutions which were vetoed by Russia and China.  Now we want to try and preserve that unity if we can, but not at any cost.  And if Russia and China are not prepared to play their part in raising the pressure on the regime… then obviously we’ll have to look elsewhere.”

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. insanemaine

    We cannot get involved. If Assad falls then the muslim brotherhood will take over. We are lucky that Russia and China stand opposed to intervention with their veto power. We are able to show outrage (which we should be outraged at the atrocities) without nececarilly needing to waste tax dollars on a solution.

    May 31, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Reply
  2. KJMU

    Who remembers that almost all the world blamed Israel for the existing tension between Syria and Israel due to the fact that Israel did not trust President Assad who said that he is willing to sign a peace agreement with Israel in exchange for the Golan Heights. Is there any country in the word that trusts an Islamic Arab dictator? Why is it so easy to ask from Israel and the US to be more “understanding” towards Islamic Arab dictators while it is obvious that all they wish for is violence and crime? It is clear that if Israel had given up the Golan Heights for peace with that dictator, any regime that would overthrow him would not recognize the agreement, and we would have war once more!

    June 1, 2012 at 4:50 am | Reply
    • Syariif

      ASSAD is a MURDEROUS PSYCHOTIC IDIOT! My heart is with the family of this abroadle 5 YEAR OLD CHILD MURDERED. And all the other Syrian families suffering the loss of loved ones-living in constant fear.

      July 8, 2012 at 12:30 am | Reply
  3. George

    Saying that ( If Assad falls then the muslim brotherhood will take over) is a crazy thing to say ..It is like saying to Assad regime to go ahead and do more killings..

    June 1, 2012 at 7:30 am | Reply
  4. john Doughboy

    Kofi, your plan may not be dead yet, but with this regime I'd be skeptical staying there in Syria too long because it seems no one is safe there with the brutality and horrific things that are happening there.

    June 1, 2012 at 7:39 am | Reply
  5. peacenow

    come on. get real . peace plan is dead long ago.
    look like a long civil war had begun.

    June 1, 2012 at 8:17 am | Reply
  6. Denverboy

    No It's dead..along with the innocents gunned down in there very homes..Houla was the end of that Plan ..The Entire UN Body should now turn to China and Russia and ask them...WHY .. Whats there point here..Death for the simple sake of it . Backing a Man who clearly is unable to lead save through fear and intimidation and roving Death squads..The World Community should ask Russia if this is there vision for the People of the Middle East..Is this Russias end game for them . They should by politicaly subjigated and if they do not comply ..Simply killed as if there live are of no value . We should be asking ourselves is this Russia's and China's idea of government at all .
    Then we should be asking ourselves ..as a Nation are we in fact supporting this type of Political action by doing business to the tune of Billions a day with these Nations that support this type of Government . Is not the blood in the streets by monitary proxy on the hands of Western Nation as well . .. Our continued support of these governments through huge and complex business dealings. In fact this allows them the Political lea way to take such dim views of human life...
    We can kick Syrian government Reps out we can go to the UN ...But until we United Western and Middel Eastern governments unite and Confront Russia and China in the Political fight..The Blood will continue to flow ..
    Innocents will coninue to die ...

    June 1, 2012 at 9:55 am | Reply
    • cailiangph

      Luella, they are trying for one world govt, just like Hitler tried. The other world porews Russia and China and Iran will NOT let the Saudis Isreal Brits USA become one world power. The axis porews of Iran China and Russia are planning their own world order. Don't underestimate either Axis or Allies. It's already on.

      July 9, 2012 at 3:12 am | Reply
  7. Dogara

    Thé killings of innocent syrians must stop, if thé Annan place plan is not working dén i think hé shld out and tell d world so dat killers will not hide on d umbrela of peace plan and continue to killers innocent pple enough is enough.

    June 1, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Reply

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