GENEVA, (SANA) – UN Special Envoy to Syria Kofi Annan said that the international work group on Syria reached an agreement to help resolve the crisis in Syria through a political process led by Syrians themselves through comprehensive national dialogue in an atmosphere of calm, which requires disarming armed groups.
At the conclusion of the work group's meetings on Saturday, Annan said that all sides are aware of the situation in Syria, and that they have taken cooperation to a higher level through a clearer and more specific course which they hope the Syrians can take.
"We're determined to work together and intensively to put an end to violence in Syria and launch a process led by Syria leading to a transitional process meeting the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people and enabling this people to decide their future independently," he said.
Annan called on all sides to commit to a permanent cessation of violence and carrying out the six-point plan without waiting others to take steps, in addition to calling on the government and the armed group to cooperate with the UN observers.
He also called on the Syrian government to release detainees, allow journalists to enter and move freely, respect the right to peaceful protests, and allow the entry of humanitarian aid.
Annan said that the workgroup agreed upon a number of directive principles regarding the transitional process in Syria, presenting a vision in which everyone participates in a pluralistic democratic country with free elections that respects human rights, the rule of law, equal access to rights, and respecting the rights of minorities, noting that this requires clear steps within a specific timeframe.
He said that the main steps in the transitional period involves establishing a "governing society" that establishes a neutral environment to affect change, with this transitional body consisting of members of the current government and opposition figures and formed through mutual agreement.
Annan stressed that the political process must be implemented in a secure and quiet environment, which requires the disarming of armed group.
He stressed that the Syrians are the ones to decide their country's future, and that all social groups must be able to participate in comprehensive national dialogue that produces feasible results, stressing the importance of women' being represented in all aspect, adding that the constitutional and legal systems may be reconsidered, which is up to the people's agreement, which would be followed by free, democratic elections.
Anna said that time is running out, and that quick steps are needed to reach an agreement and resolve the conflict through peaceful dialogue and negotiations only, adding that conditions for peaceful settlement must begin immediately, and that violence must cease and all sides must be prepared to appoint negotiators to work on the transitional process.
He affirmed that the international community is ready to support any agreement reached by all sides, and that the work group members will pressure all sides to carry out the discussed points, opposing any further militarization of the conflict.
Annan said that the work group will support him completely through his direct work with the government and the opposition and in consultation with all spectrums of the Syrian people and international players to move forward, adding that he will inform the UN and the Arab League of progress.
"Today's hopes must not turn to disappointment in the future… we must work together to carry out what we agreed upon, and we can't do this alone," he concluded.
Annan: Work Group Gave General and Directive Principles to Help Syrian People, But the Results and Decision Are Up to the Syrian People
In a press conference after the meeting, Annan said that the work group presented general and directive principles for the Syrian people regarding political process, establishing a transitional government and making the needed changes, but the results and the decisions are up to the Syrian people.
He said that efforts must focus on pushing all sides to cease violence and commit to the political solution, which sometimes requires a mediator.
Annan vowed to work with all sides and governments that participated in the Geneva meeting and offered help, and that they will use their influence on the government and the opposition to move in the right direction, hoping to end violence as it's the most pressing issue.
He noted that the Security Council is fully informed of the situation and that its member countries voiced support for his efforts, stressing the need for unity among these member countries to take cooperation to a higher level.
Annan said the Security Council members are working together and individually to urge all sides to do what is necessary, which will help achieve more.
Regarding the British Foreign Minister's suggestion to issue the results of the meeting in a decision under Chapter 7, Annan said that this is up to the Security Council.
He pointed out that the Geneva meeting was a great opportunity to encourage countries to work together, and that this meeting showed unity and cooperation among the members of the international community.
On the future of the international observer mission, Annan said the mission is still in Syria and is waiting to resume its duties when circumstances permit it.
Regarding an upcoming meeting of the work group, Annan said that they agreed to be ready to convene at any moment in case of emergencies and according to circumstances and developments; apart from that, no date or place or an upcoming meeting were set.
On the schedule of the plan, Annan said that such an issue should result from talks with government and the opposition, hoping that it won't be long and saying that he can't predict the future.
Regarding the date of Annan's visit to Damascus, Annan said that he hasn't set a date but he will certainly go to Damascus, noting that he agreed with President al-Assad that when the time comes, he will go and ask him to appoint an authorized representative to continue the process and help matters go forward, adding that President al-Assad voiced readiness to do so.
Annan: Geneva Meeting Should Meet Syrians' Interests, Not International Players' Interests
Earlier, Annan stressed that the results of Geneva meeting should be in the interests of the Syrian people not some international players.
The remarks came during Annan's speech at the first session of the international work group meeting on Syria in Geneva.
Annan added that the crisis in Syria has aggravated, calling on all sides to exert effort with the aim of reaching a solution for the crisis.
He underscored that the crisis in Syria could result in an international crisis, stressing that the Syrians only are responsible for settling the crisis in their country.
He stressed that the international community can play an effective role in solving the crisis in Syria if the international players managed to shorten the distance among their views.
M. Nassr/ Ghossoun / H. Sabbagh