Kofi Annan

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One of the World's Most Celebrated Diplomats Is Dead

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was 80

(Newser) - Kofi Annan, one of the world's most celebrated diplomats and a charismatic symbol of the United Nations who rose through its ranks to become the first black African secretary-general, has died. He was 80. His foundation announced his death in Switzerland on Saturday in a tweet , saying he died...

Kofi Annan Quits Role as Syria Envoy

Ban Ki-moon accepts Annan's resignation

(Newser) - Kofi Annan said today he will step down as special envoy for Syria effective Aug. 31, delivering a blistering criticism of world powers' failure to unite over the country's escalating violence. At an impromptu press conference, Annan told reporters he cannot go on when the 15-nation council provides no...

Russia: The West Is Blackmailing Us
 Russia: The West 
 Is Blackmailing Us 
Syria Roundup

Russia: The West Is Blackmailing Us

In other developments, European firms sent equipment to Assad

(Newser) - Kofi Annan traveled to Moscow today to try to persuade one of Bashar al-Assad's most persistent allies to put more pressure on the regime, but Russia doesn't appear to be softening its stance. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today accused the West of using "elements of blackmail" to...

Annan: We Need Iran in Syria
 Annan: We Need Iran in Syria 

Annan: We Need Iran in Syria

Envoy meets with officials in Iran and Iraq

(Newser) - Iran must be "part of the solution" to the Syria crisis, international envoy Kofi Annan declared today, after meeting with Iran's foreign minister in Tehran. "My presence here proves that I believe Iran can play a positive role," Annan told reporters, saying he had "received...

Russia Halting Arms Exports to Syria

Meanwhile, Annan and Assad 'agree on approach' to conflict

(Newser) - Russia will stop selling weapons to Syrian authorities until the conflict in the country simmers down, a senior official says. So far, he tells Russian news agencies, Moscow has simply been sending spare parts to the Syrian army and helping with repairs, not sending fighter planes or helicopters. From here...

Annan in Syria for Talks With Assad

UN envoy arrives as Clinton warns time is running out

(Newser) - Kofi Annan is on the ground in Syria, with a spokesman confirming that the UN special envoy has arrived in Damascus and will meet with embattled President Bashar al-Assad. Annan's arrival comes a day after he admitted to Le Monde that his six-point peace plan "had failed,"...

World Powers Approve 'Last-Ditch' Syria Plan

President Bashar al-Assad could be part of transitional government

(Newser) - Delegates from world powers approved a plan today to end fighting in Syria and support a transitional government that may or may not include President Bashar al-Assad, CNN reports. The first step: Both sides in the Syria conflict will be asked to recommit to a ceasefire. Then the UN and...

190 Killed in Syria Uprising's Bloodiest Day

As tanks mass on the border with Turkey

(Newser) - As many as 190 are believed to have been killed in Syria yesterday, including up to 139 civilians, in what activists said was deadliest day of the uprising so far. Casualties poured in from across the country as Bashar al-Assad's forces clashed with the opposition Free Syrian Army, but...

UN Enters Alleged Syria Massacre Site

Reporter calls scene 'ghastly' but says no bodies have been spotted

(Newser) - Things just keep getting worse in Syria: Activists say the government is shelling Homs again, possibly in preparation for a large troop surge. But UN monitors have finally made it to the site of the alleged massacre in Qubair, after being waylaid and shot at yesterday, reports Sky News . "...

Syria Kicks Out Diplomats
 Syria Kicks Out Diplomats 

Syria Kicks Out Diplomats

As Putin heads to China to discuss their partnership with Assad

(Newser) - Syria kicked out diplomats from 11 countries today, in response to those same 11 countries booting Syrian ambassadors in the wake of the Houla massacre. The ousted countries include the US, Britain, France, Turkey, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Bulgaria, and Canada, CNN reports, though the US ambassador had already...

80 Killed as Syria Rebels Dump Annan Plan

Peace plan looks 'essentially dead'

(Newser) - Syrian rebels killed 80 government soldiers this weekend, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said today, after the regime ignored its Friday deadline to implement Kofi Annan's peace plan. A rebel spokesman told Reuters that they had "decided to end our commitment" to Annan's plan. "We...

Annan: Risk of 'All-Out Civil War' Growing in Syria

He says world needs action, not words, from Assad

(Newser) - Kofi Annan's plan may be Syria's last hope for peace, but Annan himself didn't sound too optimistic today. "The specter of all-out civil war, with a worrying sectarian dimension, grows by the day," the UN envoy told a meeting of the Arab League in Qatar....

Clinton Calls Out Russia on Syria

'Their policy is going to help contribute to a civil war'

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton didn't mince words today when it came to Russia's persistent backing of the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria. The Russians "keep telling me they don't want to see a civil war," Clinton told youth leaders in Denmark today, according to Voice of America...

Russia, China Stand in Way of New Syria Action

Russia today announces it won't back foreign military intervention

(Newser) - Turkey and Japan today joined a number of nations who have given Syrian diplomats within their borders the boot, as the head of the UN observers in Syria revealed that 13 bodies had been found with their hands tied in the country's east, reports Reuters . But the developments...

As World Outrage Mounts, Annan Meets Assad

Is Russia ready to turn the screws?

(Newser) - As international pressure mounts for a crackdown on Syria in the wake of the Houla massacre, UN peace envoy Kofi Annan aims to demand "bold steps" from President Bashar al-Assad at his meeting today. Annan will attempt to hold Syria's feet to the fire on the six-point peace...

Houla Massacre Survivors Recount the Horror

Syrians say they either hid or played dead

(Newser) - Survivors of the horrific Houla massacre have described the event to reporters, saying the army and dreaded shabiha militiamen were behind the door-to-door assault. Many witnesses said they played dead or hid in order to survive, the BBC reports. "We were in the house, they went in, the shabiha...

Annan Has Message for Every Syrian Holding a Gun

Lay down your arms, he says

(Newser) - Kofi Annan arrived in Syria today on the heels of the Houla massacre , and he came with tough words for both sides, reports CNN . Annan, who promised his meeting with President Bashar al-Assad tomorrow would include "serious" discussions, had a message for "everyone with a gun": Put down...

UN Security Council Condemns Syria Massacre

Security Council scrambles to react to Houla massacre

(Newser) - The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting today and condemned Syria's killing of more than 100 people, including 34 children, in brutal attacks last week, the BBC reports. The head of the UN's observer mission in Syria briefed the council via video link, saying 108 people...

Syria: We Weren't Behind Houla Massacre

Regime denies responsibility in shelling that killed 90 Friday

(Newser) - Syria's foreign ministry spokesman has denied government troops were behind an attack on a string of villages that left more than 90 people dead. Friday's assault on Houla , an area northwest of the central city of Homs, was one of the bloodiest single events in Syria's 15-month-old...

Kofi Annan Strikes UN Monitoring Deal

As UN chief blasts regime, calls for 10 times more monitors

(Newser) - Kofi Annan today touted an agreement he has reached with Syria over how to handle the UN's 30-member advance monitoring team, outlining the "tasks and responsibilities" of the government. An Annan spokesman tells the AP that he's having "similar discussions" with rebels. The team is supposed...

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