NPR logo

U.N. Security Council Approves Annan's Syria Plan

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/149091133/149091114" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
U.N. Security Council Approves Annan's Syria Plan

Middle East

U.N. Security Council Approves Annan's Syria Plan

U.N. Security Council Approves Annan's Syria Plan

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/149091133/149091114" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan got a boost from the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday as he tries to resolve the crisis in Syria. The Council endorsed his six point plan for a ceasefire, humanitarian aid and a political process. At the State Department, Secretary Hillary Clinton called it a positive step and urged Syrian President Bashar Assad to commit to the peace plan or face increasing pressure.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Former U.N. Security General Kofi Annan got a boost today from the Security Council as he struggles to resolve the crisis in Syria. The council endorsed his peace proposals. They call for a daily two-hour pause in fighting to allow humanitarian aid in and for a political dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition. Here's NPR's Michele Kelemen.

MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: Shortly after the council unanimously backed Kofi Annan's six-point plan, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was speaking to reporters outside her office.

SECRETARY HILLARY CLINTON: This is a positive step. The council has now spoken with one voice. It has demanded a U.N.-supervised cessation of violence in all its forms, beginning with a pullback from population centers by the Syrian government forces.

KELEMEN: The plan also calls for the beginning of a Syrian-led political process, which Clinton says will lead to a democratic transition in the country. She's urging Syrian military personnel to refuse orders to fire on their fellow citizens and she has a message for Syrian president Bashar al Assad.

CLINTON: Take this path, commit to it or face increasing pressure and isolation.

KELEMEN: Russia, which vetoed two previous Security Council resolutions, backed the non-binding statement mainly because there are no demands or threats of sanctions. At the U.N., Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin was quick to point out the council also issued a statement condemning acts of terrorism in Syria.

VITALY CHURKIN: We are very pleased the Security Council has finally chosen to take a pragmatic look at the situation in Syria and we are very pleased that we have a process which we hope will continue and will lead to an important Syrian-led political process in the country.

KELEMEN: There's no language in the Ssecurity Council statement demanding that Assad give up power. Still, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland says the U.S. expectation is that Assad would not continue to run Syria at the end of a democratic transition process. Michele Kelemen, NPR News, the State Department.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.