International envoy Kofi Annan arrived in Tehran for Syrian crisis talks

International envoy Kofi Annan arrived in Tehran for Syrian crisis talks

Tehrān : Iran | Apr 10, 2012 at 11:56 PM PDT
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International envoy Kofi Annan has arrived in Tehran for talks with senior Iranian officials and to bring an end to violence in Syria.

Annan is scheduled to hold meetings with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi before a press conference on Wednesday, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Speaking earlier Tuesday, Annan deplored the attitude of the Syrian regime, which deployed its troops into new fields of action despite its promise to stop all forms of violence. However, he said he felt that his plan to end the crisis is not dead. "They [the Syrian army] indicate that there have been withdrawals [...]. But we have indications from other sources they moved to other places that were not covered before," Annan said during a press conference Tuesday after visiting a refugee camp on the Syrian Turkish border.

Kofi Annan also said that violence has to stop in Syria "without preconditions."

"Again I ask the Syrian government and other Syrian parties to cease all violence in accordance to the plan and I think there should be no preconditions to end the violence," said the envoy of the U.N. and Arab League.

Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said that Bashar al-Assad has lied to Kofi Annan.

AFP news quoted Juppe as saying, "Not only has the firing of heavy weapons not ceased, not only is the freeing of political prisoners minimal compared with the scale of the repression, not only is Damascus now attacking its neighbours, but what has been presented as a (troop) withdrawal is nothing but a thinly disguised redeployment."

On the ground, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that at least 52 people including 28 civilians were killed on Tuesday as shelling continued in Homs, and near the Turkish border.

U.N. Human Rights officials say at least 9,100 civilians have been killed in the ongoing violence while according to activists 1,000 people have been killed by government forces in the last eight days.

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