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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Annan Plan 'Last Chance' for Syria Opposition Figure

RIA Novosti

21:37 16/04/2012 MOSCOW, April 16 (RIA Novosti) - UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s plan is the last chance to normalize the political situation in Syria and the country’s authorities should not miss it, Professor Aref Dalila, head of Syria’s internal opposition, told RIA Novosti in an exclusive interview on Monday.

Members of Syria’s opposition have arrived in Moscow on an official visit to discuss ways of normalizing the situation. On Tuesday they will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

“We believe quick actions are needed to change the situation in our country. Kofi Annan’s plan should be implemented, it is the last chance to settle the situation,” Dalila said, adding that Syrian authorities should not “miss this chance as they missed the chance to receive aid from the League of Arab States.”

Speaking on the ways to mitigate the current crisis, Dalila said that it is necessary to “begin withdrawing military equipment from those cities where military actions have taken place, begin rendering aid to civilians and those injured in the clashes, ask people who fled their homes to return, and free people arrested during the clashes.”

He also said that Syrian authorities should “allow peaceful demonstrations so that all of the parties of the opposition could proceed to negotiations with those representatives of the official power who do not have blood on their hands.”

Dalila said such a discussion should help draw out a plan of the country’s future development and introduce ways how to switch the country’s political regime.

The first group of UN observers have arrived in Syria and on Monday proceeded to their mission - monitoring and making sure the country’s ceasefire is adhered to, UN Chief Ban Ki-moon said.

The monitors’ mission follows a six-point plan to resolve the current political crisis in Syria, proposed by Annan and approved by the UN Security Council.

The ceasefire that formally came into force on Thursday in Syria is a part of the international community’s efforts to end a year of deadly clashes between opposition and government forces that have claimed over 9,000 lives, according to UN estimates.

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