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Syria Agrees to Peace Proposal: More Stalling For Time?

Syria Agrees to Peace Proposal: More Stalling For Time?

Syria says that it “agrees” to a six-point peace plan proposed by Kofi Annan, special envoy to the United Nations and the Arab League, and that it will begin implementing key aspects — withdrawing military troops and weapons from populated areas — by April 10. Under the plan, the UN would oversee a ceasefire by all parties, the withdrawal of troops and the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Even as Annan was meeting in a closed session to brief the UN Security Council about the details of the plan, there was more fighting in the regions of Idlib and Homs. The Local Coordination Committee, a network of activists, reported that 65 people were killed on Monday with 40 dead in Homs, 14 in Idlib, six in Hama and five in Aleppo. As the BBC notes, Annan himself “cautioned the Security Council that so far there was no sign of President Bashar al-Assad’s government keeping its promises on implementation.”

Gulf States To Pay Salaries to Syrian Opposition Fighters

After the briefing, the US’s ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, said that, as past experience has led “us to be skeptical” about Syria actually implementing the peace plan’s terms, an escalation of violence was possible. Indeed, according to the BBC‘s Barbara Plett, in the closed session, Annan said that Syria had described itself as not ready to withdraw troops until the armed opposition lays down its weapons.

At a Sunday meeting in Istanbul, the “Friends of Syria,” which is comprised of 83 countries calling for political change in Syria, warned Assad that the “window of time” to comply with Annan’s plan is very limited. Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who hosted the meeting, urged the UN Security Council not to hesitate and accused the Syrian regime of accepting Annan’s peace plan only to stall for time. While saying that Turkey (which just over a year ago was Syria’s close ally) would not interfere there, Erdogan emphasized that “the world could not stand idle as the opposition withered” in the face of the government’s arsenal of modern weaponry.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Gulf countries said at the meeting that they would pay the salaries of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) as well as other costs. Arab nations pledged a total of $100 million, says the New York Times:

The countries providing most of the money for salaries — Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates — have long been the fiercest opponents of Mr. Assad’s rule, reflecting the sectarian split in the Arab world between Sunnis and Shiites. Mr. Assad and his inner circle are Alawites, a Shiite minority offshoot that has nonetheless dominated political and economic life in Syria, despite its majority Sunni population. It also has Christian and other smaller sectarian groups.

The US has agreed to send communications equipment including satellite technology and night-vision goggles to opposition fighters. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged $12 million in humanitarian assistance for international organizations assisting Syrians, bringing the amount of aid the U.S. has so far pledged to Syria to $25 million.

Over 9,000 have reportedly died in the Syrian uprising that began in March of 2011. Precise figures are impossible to determine as foreign journalists remain barred from reporting from the country. Since November, at least eight journalists have been killed while covering the events in Syria. The New York Times Lede blog reports that citizen journalist Ali Mahmoud Othman, who has been a key source of information about the violence in Homs and especially in the now shelled-out Baba Amr district, is said to have been captured and tortured by the regime.

Related Care2 Coverage

Assad: “Terrorists” Must Go Before He’ll Follow Peace Plan

Syrian Uprising “Bloodiest” of the Arab Spring

EU Imposes Travel Ban, Assets Freeze on Syrian First Lady

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10 comments

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1:47PM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

Jean W

You don't seem very concerned about the 1000s of Syrian security personnel who have been killed by armed insurrectionists. And some of these murders were committed by al Qaeda, which is allied to the externally financed and directed rebels.

4:28AM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

Assad's father was one of the cagiest politicians on the world stage.When it became obvious that the current Assad was the heir apparent to the dictatorship there was a perception of him as a Wannabe Reformer who was being held back by the Old Guard left overs of his fathers regime.That has proven to be wishful thinking. His father was also adept at manipulating perceptions and creating expectations that hovered on an ever retreating horizon. He has proven to be his father's son.
That being said, let's remind ourselves that when the US undertook 'extraordinary renditions' e.g. outsourced torture, Syria was a preferred destination. Did we sell ourselves on the " "Wannabe Reformer" feint for our own expediency? Having used their expertise in these matters how do we call them to the carpet now? Such is the tangled web we weave. In the mean time Syrian civilians, children, the elderly suffer the horrors and lose their lives .Gods help them.

8:32AM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

free tibet!
instead of the agressive conspiracy against syria:
The British money is key to understanding the real dynamic going on. London's key allies, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are pouring huge amounts of funds to the Syrian rebels, which have lost almost all of the territory that they once occupied in areas of Syria. The Anglo-Wahabi-U.S. forces have been in Turkey meeting with the Syrian opposition all week, to unify a military command, while giving lip service to the Kofi Annan "mission." In the Saudi case, the money is openly going to arming the rebels....

5:27AM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

Hitler went much farther, he signed peace treaties before the bombing even started.

4:52AM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

if people can actually pull troops out of where they dont belong hopefully is will prevent us from entering a world war 3, which seems very possible at the moment

3:47AM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/8174-who-benefits-from-the-organized-violence-of-war?

Who benefits from the organized violence of war? War is enormously profitable for US "defense" industries. These industries shape US governance and foreign policy. This is true whether the target was Vietnam or the Pentagon's current land and air wars elsewhere in Asia....

»those companies are making a killing«

3:44AM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

More propaganda against Syria on Care2. Assad has implemented the reforms he said he would so far. Now that the involvement of the dictatorial Gulf and their western allies is revealed openly (after months of denials) who can still maintain that the Syrian government should not crush this rebellion directed and paid from outside - especially as Assad has majority support?

3:43AM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

More propaganda against Syria on Care2. Assad has implemented the reforms he said he would so far. Now that the involvement of the dictatorial Gulf and their western allies is revealed openly (after months of denials) who can still maintain that the Syrian government should not crush this rebellion directed and paid from outside - especially as Assad has majority support?

5:36PM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

Syria and Peace...what a mix. We'll see.

3:19PM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

Time to stop the slaughter of the innocent women and children

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