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Syria Accepts Kofi Annan's Peace Plan

By Francis Tawiah (Duisburg - Germany)

The regime in Damascus has accepted a peace plan brokered by the UN and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan, according to Annan's spokesman.

A spokesman for the UN and Arab League special envoy on Syria, Kofi Annan, said on Tuesday that Syria had accepted a peace plan designed to end the year-long bloodshed in the country.

"The Syrian government has written to the Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan accepting his six-point plan, endorsed by the United Nations Security Council," Ahmad Fawzi said in a statement.

Annan had written to Syrian President Bashar Assad asking Damascus to "put its commitments into immediate effect," he added.

Annan's plan calls for a ceasefire by Syrian troops, to be supervised by the UN, a daily two-hour humanitarian halt to fighting to be able to evacuate the wounded as well as inclusive talks to find a solution to the crisis.

The former UN secretary general is scheduled to brief the UN Security Council next Monday. The announcement came during Annan's visit to China, where he was meeting President Wen Jiabao to drum up support for his plan.

United States government spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said later Tuesday that Syria's acceptance of Annan's proposals was an "important step," but added: "As with all things with the Assad regime, the proof will be in the actual action that he takes."

"We will be looking for him to take immediate action to begin implementing Annan's proposals, starting with silencing his guns and allowing humanitarian aid to go in," Nuland added.

The UN on Tuesday revised its death toll after over a year of fighting in Syria to more than 9,000.

FRANCIS TAWIAH (Duisburg - Germany)

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