|U.S. Ambassdar to the United Nations Susan Rice, whose country holds this month's Security Council presidency, speaks to media after a Security Council consultation at the UN headquarters in New York, the United States, April 2, 2012. Kofi Annan, the United Nations and Arab League joint special envoy for Syria, on Monday underlined the urgency in the Syrian situation and sought the support of the UN Security Council for the April 10 deadline to end the year-long violence in the Middle East country, Suan Rice told reporters here. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)
UNITED NATIONS, April 2 (Xinhua) -- Kofi Annan, the United Nations and Arab League joint special envoy for Syria, on Monday underlined the urgency in the Syrian situation and sought the support of the UN Security Council for the April 10 deadline to end the year-long violence in the Middle East country, said Susan Rice, the United States Ambassador to UN. Rice holds the rotating council presidency for April.
Rice made the remarks while reading a readout to the press here after Annan briefed the 15-nation council behind closed doors vie teleconference from Geneva.
Annan told the Security Council that the Syrian government had agreed to the April 10 deadline to end the crisis in the country, and he was expecting details from Damascus "very shortly" on the implementation of the six-point peace plan put forward by the special envoy, Rice said.
"Mr.Annan reported that he is expecting details from the Syrian government very shortly on the other aspects of his six- point plan including key requests for humanitarian access, the two- hour daily humanitarian pause as well as access for the media and of course the political process," Rice said.
"Mr. Annan said he wished that he had this confirmation of action sooner, in other words that the April 10 deadline would ideally have been earlier than it is," Rice said. Annan urged the government of Syria to start immediately and to ensure that forces move no further into population centers.
"Mr. Annan's deputy, Mr. Nasser al-Kidwa, has also had constructive exchanges with the opposition to urge them to cease their operations within 48 hours of a complete cessation of government hostilities," she said.
"Mr. Annan reported that the Syrian foreign minister sent him a letter yesterday in which he said that the Syrian military will begin immediately and by April 10 will complete the cessation of all forward deployment and use of heavy weapons and will complete its withdrawal from population centers," Rice said.
Annan's six-point plan calls for the withdrawal of heavy weapons and troops from population centers, a daily halt in fighting for the delivery of humanitarian aid and treatment for the wounded, as well as talks between the government and opposition.
The United Nations said that about 9,000 people have been killed since the crisis broke out in Syria in March last year, but Damascus blamed terrorist groups for the conflict.
On March 21, the UN Security Council adopted a presidential statement to endorse the six-point proposal Annan presented to the Syrian authorities earlier last month during a visit to Damascus " to bring an end to all violence and human rights violations, secure humanitarian access and facilitate a Syrian-led political transition to a democratic, plural political system."
Special Report: Syrian Situation