UN Security Council backs Syria peace plan

UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan's six-point plan calls for a ceasefire and for political dialogue to take place [AFP]
The United Nations Security Council has adopted a statement backing joint UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan's plan for ending the violence in Syria, as a government crackdown on opposition strongholds has continued. Mark Lyall Grant, the UK's ambassador to the UN and the current president of the council, read out the statement during a UNSC session on Wednesday. The statement expressed the council's "full support" for Annan's efforts, and called upon both the government and the opposition "to work in good faith with the envoy towards a peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis" and to fully implement his six-point proposal.
 
The statement threatened "further steps" if the government failed to comply with the proposal. The plan calls for a ceasefire to be established, as well as for both sides to engage in political dialogue and to allow humanitarian aid agencies access to areas where citizens have been caught up in an increasingly militarised conflict. The statement specifically calls for a "daily two hour humanitarian pause" in hostilities to be established by both sides to allow agencies to provide humanitarian assistance. It also calls for those detained during a government crackdown on protests to be released, and for restrictions on the freedom of movement of foreign journalists to be removed.   (more of the article)

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