United Nations- U.N.-Arab League envoy for Syria, the former U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan, is to brief the Security Council later on Thursday in New York. Annan is expected to present the UN Security Council with a new proposal to rescue his failing peace plan - a "contact group" of world and regional powers.
Annan hopes his new idea, for a contact group that would bring together world powers and regional players such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Iran, can prevent a collapse of his plan for a truce and a political solution, a U.N. diplomats said.
On Wednesday, Representatives of 15 countries and the European Union agreed in Istanbul to convene a "coordination group" to provide unspecified support to the opposition.
The forum asked to map out a political transition under which Syria`s President Bashar al-Assad would leave office ahead of free elections, envoys said.
The underlying idea was to get Russia, which has repeatedly said it is not protecting President al-Assad, but has given no sign it is ready to abandon him, to support such a transition, they said.
In Istanbul, the United States and its allies in Europe, Turkey and the Arab world have agreed to work on a political transition plan for Syria, hoping to persuade President Bashar al-Assad’s powerful ally Russia to join a broadened diplomatic effort to ease the embattled leader out of power, a senior U.S. official said.
Annan, for his part, sees the forum as a way to break a deadlock among the five permanent members of the Security Council, where Russia and China have twice vetoed resolutions critical of Syria that were backed by the United States, Britain and France.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had proposed Wednesday an international meeting on Syria that would include the prime candidates for Annan's proposed contact group, including Iran.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, however, reacted coolly to that idea, accusing Iran of "stage-managing" Syria's repression of its opponents in which the United Nations says over 10,000 people have been killed.
In Washington on Wednesday, the United States and Saudi Arabia, among dozens of mostly Western and Arab states in the "Friends of Syria" group, urged further sanctions on Syria, such as an arms embargo, travel bans and tougher financial penalties.
Russia and China, meanwhile, poured cold water on the push to remove Assad from power in a joint statement issued Wednesday after two days of meetings between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leaders.
Western leaders, wary of new military engagements in the Muslim world, have offered sympathy but show no appetite for taking on President al-Assad's military, supplied by Russia and Iran.
The French and British foreign ministers shot down the Russian proposal. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius "Iran can in no case" be involved in talks "as it would firstly be contradictory with the aim of applying strong pressure on Syria and would also have an effect upon Tehran's nuclear programme, which is not desirable."
In turn, British Foreign Secretary William Hague echoed him, saying: "I think the inclusion of Iran in any such group would probably render it unworkable.
"This is a country that is supporting some of the unacceptable violence and supporting the Syrian regime in what it is doing to the Syrian people and that would cause a great difficulty."
On the ground inside the country, Syrian rebel groups say they are no longer bound by Annan's ceasefire and want foreign weapons and other support.
U.N. monitors tried on Thursday to reach a village where activists say Syrian troops and militiamen loyal to President Bashar al-Assad massacred at least 78 villagers, hours before a divided U.N. Security Council discusses Syria.
For its part, Syria`s regime keep claiming “Armed Terrorist Groups” nad basically “Salafist & Qaieda” that are funded by “out raged regimes who want to topple President Bashar al-Assad”.
Syrian official media also keeps reporting about UNSMIS teams that tour cities and conflict areas. UNSMIS teams meet citizens and document terrorists deeds, as it has been claiming since uprising began March 2011.
Fresh reports said that violence in Syria has grown increasingly chaotic in recent months, and it is difficult to assign blame for much of the bloodshed as the country spirals toward civil war. It said that President al-Assad’s refusal to allow peaceful protest and determination to crack down on any political dissent poses another problem.
Press reports regarding Syria violence keep telling that images and events in Syria's 15-month-old uprising are difficult to verify due to tight state curbs on international media access.
Some 13,000 people have been killed in Syria over 15 months of repression and later armed rebellion, and a peace plan proposed by United Nations mediator Kofi Annan has failed to halt the violence, the reports added.
Kofi Annan declared a ceasefire in Syria on April 12 as part of a six-point peace plan which won wide international support, but failed to halt the bloodshed on the ground. Almost 300 UNSMIS observers have been deployed in the country to monitor Annan`s peace plan.