UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- Syria said on Tuesday that it would fully cooperate with Lakhdar Brahimi, the new joint special representative of the UN and the Arab League, to bring an end to the 18-month crisis in the country.
The statement came as Bashar al-Jaafari, the Syrian permanent representative to the United Nations, addressed the UN General Assembly about the crisis that has plagued his country since March 2011.
"My country, Syria, agreed to the appointment of Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi as the special representative of the United Nations secretary-general," al-Jaafari said. "My country declared its full preparedness to cooperate with him with a view to bringing about a success of his efforts."
Brahimi, the former Algerian foreign minister and widely- respected UN official, formally replaced Kofi Annan as the international mediator on the Syrian conflict on Sept. 1. Annan, the former UN secretary-general, announced his resignation as the special envoy for Syria in early August, conceding his failure to mediate a way out of the prolonged crisis.
Since his appointment last month, Brahimi has been closely consulting with members of the UN Security Council. He is to visit Egypt in a few days to talk with Nabil al-Araby, the secretary- general of the Arab League.
Brahimi told the General Assembly meeting that he is also looking forward to a visit to Damascus, the Syrian capital, in a few days.
"I would like to emphasize that the resignation of Mr. Kofi Annan should not be a reason to keep away from the six-point plan adopted by the Security Council Resolution 2042," said the Syrian ambassador.
"We call upon all the parties -- Arab, regional and international -- which have influence on the armed groups, particularly those states which had refused to receive Kofi Annan and refused to cooperate with him, all those states whose representatives made destructive, negative statements days after Mr. Kofi Annan took over ... We invite all those states to cooperate with Mr. Brahimi in implementing the six-point plan," he added.
Annan's peace 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 the opposition.
The Annan plan and the Geneva communique adopted by the Action Group for Syria constitute a solid basis for the efforts toward a political settlement, involving an inclusive and Syrian-led political process whose aim is to address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people, observers here said.
MOSCOW, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- A visiting Syrian opposition group said here Tuesday that it is against the establishment of any preconditions for starting a nationwide political dialogue in the unrest-torn country.
"We oppose any preconditions to be set for the launch of the dialogue," said Fathi Jamous, leader of the Coalition Forces for Peaceful Change in Syria, who met with Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov. Full story
GENEVA, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) on Tuesday said more than 100,000 Syrians fled their country to seek protection in surrounding countries in August alone, which represents the highest monthly total of refugees since the crisis began.
"The number of Syrian refugees registered or awaiting registration as of September 2nd is 235,368. Included in this figure are 103,416 people seeking asylum in August," the agency's chief spokeswomen, Melissa Fleming, told reporters at a press briefing in Geneva. Full story