Kofi Annan's mission to Syria

Na'eem Jeenah, AMEC's executive director, was interviewed on 'Morning Live' on the South African national radio station SAfm, on 13 March 2012 about the mission of former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan to Syria. Annan has been jointly appointed as envoy to Syria by the United Nations and the Arab League. Annan met Syrian president Bashar al-Asad twice over the weekend (10-11 March) and also had meetings with members of Damascus-based opposition groups. He was due to meet the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) in Turkey on Tuesday, 13 March. Jeenah noted that the situation in Syria was getting worse and bloodier, as gruesome incidents in Homs over the weekend indicated.

Asked about the SNC's comment that Annan's visit to Damascus was 'useless', Jeenah said that if one side in a conflict regarded the role of a mediator as 'useless', that brought into question the entire mission of the mediator. He added that, in fact, the potential effectiveness of Annan's mission was open to question from the time he was appointed in this position.

Asked why the 'international community' was not doing anything about the Syrian crisis, Jeenah said there was no unified 'international community' and that different parts of the international community believed they were 'doing something'. Russia, China, the Arab League, the European Union, for example, he said, all believed that they were making proposals for a resolution to the crisis. Part of the problem, he added, was that the 'international community' was 'as fractured as the Syrian opposition' was.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 17 February 2015 10:06
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