World Powers Agree on Syria Transition

Posted June 30th, 2012 at 3:45 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment


World leaders have reached an agreement for the transition of power in Syria aimed at ending the bloody conflict between President Bashar al-Assad and opposition forces trying to oust him.

At a meeting in Geneva Saturday, the members of the United Nations Security Council adopted a watered down version of special envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan that leaves open whether Mr. Assad can be part of the transition government.

The former U.N. Secretary General said the government could include members of Assad's administration and the opposition. He said it was up to the Syrian people to determine Mr. Assad's fate.

“And I will doubt that the Syrians who have fought so hard for their independence, to be able to have a say in how they are governed and who governs them, will select people with blood on their hands to lead them.”

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insisted Mr. Assad cannot be a part of Syria's future.

“What we have done here is to strip away the fiction that he and those with blood on their hands can stay in power.”

She said it is now “incumbent on Russia and China to show Assad the writing on the wall.''

Moscow and Beijing had had refused to back a provision that would call for Assad to step aside. Russia insisted that outsiders cannot order a political solution for Syria.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov repeated that stance after the meeting. He said the peace plan does not require the ouster of President Bashar Assad, there is “no attempt in the document to impose on the Syrian people any type of transitional process.''

Earlier in the meeting Mr. Annan warned the participants — United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and envoys from Arab countries — that if they failed to act, they could face an international crisis of “grave severity.''

Activists Saturday said Syrian government forces had reentered Douma, near the capital of Damascus, following weeks of shelling. Syria's state run SANA news agency said security forces were in Douma, raiding “terrorist” hideouts. The government routinely refers to rebel forces as terrorists.

Some survivors of the assault on Douma told western media outlets they fled on foot, scared after seeing the streets littered with dead bodies.

Activist groups have said the shelling of Douma has been particularly intense.