Envoy Kofi Annan Urges Assad to Embrace Change

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On his visit to Syria’s capital Damascus, Joint Special Envoy of the UN and the League of Arab States for Syria Kofi Annan urges President Bashar al-Assad to embrace change and reforms.

He stresses that the transformational winds blowing today cannot be long-resisted.

“I have urged the President to heed the old African proverb: ‘you cannot turn the wind, so turn the sail.’ The realistic response is to embrace change and reform.” -Mr. Annan

Mr. Annan specifically cited that reforms will create a solid foundation for a democratic Syria – a peaceful, stable, pluralistic and prosperous society, based on the rule of law and respect for human rights.

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Kofi Annan (left), Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on the Syrian Crisis, meets with President of Syria Bashar AlAssad in Damascus.

UN Photo/Reuters/SANA

Mr. Annan said his discussions with Mr. Assad on Sunday focused on putting an urgent halt to the escalating violence, giving access to humanitarian agencies, and starting a political dialogue.

He presented a set of concrete proposals to President Assad as well which would have a real impact on the situation on the ground and will help launch a process aimed at putting an end to this crisis.

He also told the President that his main preoccupation is the welfare of the Syrian people.

He particularly emphasized on his talks with the Syrian Leader to place the interests of the people at the centre of all their efforts.

During his two-day visit, Mr. Annan also met with representatives of the opposition, civil society, businessmen and businesswomen, and religious leaders before leaving for Doha, Qatar in the afternoon.

Earlier this week, the Syrian authorities has granted UN Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos the permission to visit the Syrian capital of Damascus.

Ms. Amos’ visit to Damascus aimed to urge all parties to the conflict to allow unhindered access for aid workers to evacuate the wounded and deliver essential humanitarian supplies.

U.N. officials say more than 5,000 people have been killed in Syria since the start of the turmoil in the country.

Media reports say that in Damascus, the security forces have lost 2,000 dead.

The death toll keeps rising in Syria as Government forces continue their deadly crackdown against the pro-democracy protesters.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.