Kofi Annan steps down as special envoy to Syria

Thursday, August 02, 2012
Kofi Annan
[PHOTO: UN Photo/Sergey Bermeniev] 
Geneva: UN-Arab League joint special envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan on Thursday served his resignation to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

Addressing a press conference at United Nations office here in Geneva, Annan said, “I accepted this task, which some called Mission Impossible - for I believed it was a sacred duty to do whatever was in my power to help the Syrian people find a peaceful solution to this bloody conflict.”

The 74-years-old international mediator said that the increasing militarization on the ground and the clear “lack of unity” in the Security Council, have fundamentally changed the circumstances for the effective exercise of his role.

“Without serious, purposeful and united international pressure, including from the powers of the region, it is impossible for me, or anyone, to compel the Syrian government in the first place, and also the opposition, to take the steps necessary to begin a political process,” Annan added.

The former UN Secretary General asserted, “As an envoy, I can’t want peace more than the protagonists, more than the Security Council or the international community for that matter.”

“I have therefore informed the Secretary-General of the UN and Secretary-General of the Arab League today that I do not intend to continue my mission when my mandate expires at the end of August,” Annan told reporters. 

Meanwhile, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has expressed his “deep regret” over Annan’s resignation.
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