Monday, July 9, 2012

Annan starts talks with Assad in Damascus

(Reuters) - Kofi Annan was holding talks in Damascus on Monday with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who said U.S. political support for "terrorists" was hindering the peace envoy's plan to end 16 months of bloodshed.

Assad also accused Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey of supplying the rebels trying to overthrow him with arms and other logistical support.

"We know that (Annan) is coming up against countless obstacles but his plan should not be allowed to fail, it is a very good plan," Assad told German television channel Das Erste.

"The biggest obstacle is that many countries do not even want this plan to succeed so they offer political support and continue to provide the terrorists in Syria with arms and money," Assad said, according to a transcript in German of the interview conducted in English on July 5.

Anti-Assad activists in Syria reported army shelling and clashes with rebels on Monday in Deir Ezzor, Deraa, Homs, Aleppo and a neighbourhood of Damascus. Residents also reported the sound of gunfire in the capital.

An activist website said over 100 Syrians had been killed on Sunday, most of them civilians. Read More