Syrian ceasefire first Step of Annan’s plan: USApril 13th, 2012 - 8:23 am ICT by IANS
Washington, April 13 (IANS/RIA Novosti) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has welcomed the ceasefire in Syria while saying it is only a “first step” in the implementation of Kofi Annan’s plan.
The six-point plan, proposed by UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan and approved by the UN Security Council, includes a pullback of troops from the cities, a halt to fighting, the release of unjustly arrested people, and respect for the people’s right to peaceful protest and for press freedom.
Clinton, who spoke after a meeting of G8 foreign ministers in Washington, said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad can not “pick and choose” what part of the plan he wants to accept and implement.
She urged the Syrian government to withdraw troops from all cities and accept a transition of political power.
The UN-backed Syrian ceasefire plan appeared to take hold Thursday, lifting hopes for an end to the deadly clashes between opposition and pro-government forces that have killed over 9,000 people in the past year.
Annan negotiated a ceasefire last month, which both parties reluctantly agreed to support.
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Tags: arab league, bashar al assad, ceasefire, deadly clashes, foreign ministers, government forces, hillary clinton, kofi annan, opposition, peaceful protest, president bashar, press freedom, pullback, ria novosti, secretary of state, syria, syrian government, syrian president bashar al, un security council, us secretary of state