Annan plan holds key to peace in Syria: Abdullah

UAE Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Tuesday praised the positive stand shown by Russia and China in relation to the current situation in Syria.

By (Wam, AP, Reuters)

Published: Wed 6 Jun 2012, 9:08 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 12:08 PM

Speaking at a joint Press conference with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in Abu Dhabi, Shaikh Abdullah stressed the importance of supporting the peace plan of Kofi Annan, the UN-Arab League special envoy to Syria, by all parties. “We do not have much time left. Any delay in implementing the plan will make it more difficult to reach a solution to the Syrian crisis. It is important that we see progress made shortly,” he added.

The German foreign minister said Western powers should consider tougher UN measures against Syria’s regime in attempts to end the bloodshed.

Westerwelle said an option is a Chapter 7 resolution, which could bring tighter UN sanctions and other pressures on Bashar Assad’s government for failing to implement peace plans by Annan.

Westerwelle also said it is crucial to keep Syria’s rebellion from touching off violence outside its borders. Already clashes have broken out in neighbouring Lebanon.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other officials plan to meet on Wednesday in Istanbul to discuss the Syria crisis.

In Jeddah, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal said Gulf Arab states have begun to lose hope that Annan’s peace plan can end more than a year of violence. He called on the UN Security Council to put Annan’s plan under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, a measure that could authorise the use of force.

Prince Saud also said Iran’s nuclear programme has increased threats to the Gulf region and urged Tehran to cooperate with world powers to defuse tension after talks last month failed. “For sure the Iranian nuclear programme has escalated the threat level in the region... So it is dangerous...,” he said.

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