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Annan should have continued in Syria: India

world Updated: Aug 03, 2012 16:06 IST

PTI
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India has said it would have liked UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, who resigned from his post, to persevere in his efforts to broker peace in Syria, asserting that the international community cannot walk away from its obligations in the troubled country.

India's Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri said India has been a strong supporter of the efforts of Annan, who announced yesterday that he was resigning from his post as the international envoy on Syria.

Responding to Annan's resignation, Puri said India has consistently supported his six point-peace plan.

"We are extremely grateful for the efforts that Annan made to bring peace to Syria. We would have liked him to persevere. We do, however, understand and appreciate the circumstances which compelled him to resign," Puri told PTI.

He said international community, anchored in the UN, cannot walk away from its obligations in Syria and it will have to work out arrangements that can be put in place once the mandate of the UN observer mission in Syria expires on August 20.

Annan informed UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon that he does not wish to continue as the UN-Arab League envoy for Syria once his mandate ends on August 31.

The former UN chief was appointed in February as the international envoy tasked with facilitating a peace process between President Bashar Al Assad and the rebel forces and to help bring an end to the violence in the country that has so far killed 10,000 people.

Annan had also put forward a six-point peace plan but his efforts yielded little success.

He sharply criticised the international community and the UN Security Council for failing to unite to take action on Syria.

"I think the international community could do more, could be much more helpful if they were to come together and work in concert and put sustained pressure on the parties," Annan told reporters in Geneva yesterday.

He said he was hopeful of some forward movement when all the five permanent UN members agreed in Geneva in June on the need for transition in Syria but things fell apart when the UN Security Council failed to unite and adopt resolutions on Syria.

A transition meant there was going to be a change in government, the transition meant President Assad would have to leave sooner or later. And once you have that broad understanding, you should be able to build on it. But things fell apart in New York, and that unity is still elusive," he said.

At a time when we need – when the Syrian people desperately need action - there continues to be finger-pointing and name-calling in the Security Council," Annan said.

When asked if it would be possible for his successor to make any progress on Syria, Annan said, "the world is full of crazy people like me, so don't be surprised if someone else decides to take it on, and I am sure Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will find somebody who could perhaps even do a better job than I have done."

Ban expressed his "deep regret" over Annan's decision to step down and said he was consulting with Arab League Secretary-General Nabil El Araby to appoint a successor to Annan who can "carry on this crucial peacemaking effort."