Damascus: Syria has
said it was ready to facilitate UN monitors, but stressed that a
majority of them should be from "neutral countries" like BRICS,
which also includes India.
Syria also stressed that while it was committed to the UN-backed
peace plan, the Western powers wanted it to fail due to their own
"The Syrian government is committed to the success of the UN-Arab
League envoy Kofi Annan's six-point peace plan," Syria's
Information Minister Adnan Mahmoud told a group of Indian
journalists visiting Syria.
"We welcome the UN observers from countries like BRICS which look
at the situation objectively. Syria is committed to the Annan plan
and will facilitate the UN mission," he said.
The leaders of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa)
grouping of the five emerging economies, met in New Delhi March 29
and supported a Syria-led transition and underlined that issues
should be resolved through dialogue without any foreign
The UN Security Council unanimously approving a resolution in New
York Saturday, which seeks to expand the number of UN cease-fire
observers in Syria from 30 to 300.
The resolution also calls for an immediate end to the violence by
both the government forces and opposition activists.
Syria had agreed to a ceasefire over a week ago, but the truce
remains fragile with reports of both regime forces and opposition
targeting each other in places like Homs and Hama.
"We are ready to move within the framework of the Annan plan, but
it should stick to principles of sovereignty. We oppose any
foreign interference," said Mahmoud.
"The UN observers were in Homs today. They moved around freely and
talked to ordinary people," he said.
A team of international observers visited Homs, the opposition
stronghold, and met the governor there. Earlier, they were
prevented from visiting Homs for "security reasons", but on
Saturday they toured different districts of the city.
Mahmoud accused the Western powers of funding opposition activists
whom he described as "armed terrorists".
"The Western powers have expressed
pessimism. They don't want the Annan plan to succeed," he said.
The UN resolution empowers Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to decide
when to deploy the additional observers, based on the ground
realities, including "the consolidation of the cease-fire". Ban
had accused Syrian President Bashar Assad Thursday of not sticking
to the cease-fire and voiced dismay about violence that was
claiming more lives.
Damascus has, however, denied reports of escalation in violence
and blamed opposition activists for killing innocent civilians.
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