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Syria: The ceasefire is imperative, says Annan’s spokesperson

“It’s imperative that we get a ceasefire”, declared Ahmad Fawzi, spokesperson for the international mediator for the Syrian crisis, Kofi Annan. The primary goal, he undescored, is to stop the killing.

A political transition process

The new Action Group on Syria, called by Annan, approved a document in Geneva on Saturday 30 June 2012 calling for a political transition process that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people. The communiqué also calls for the creation of a transitional governing body that could include members of the present government and the opposition and other groups. Participants at the Geneva meeting, explained Fawzi, committed to apply “joint and sustained pressure” to bring an end to hostilities and said they opposed any further militarisation.

A shift in the Russian and Chinese positions

Fawzi admitted that the road out of the crisis could be a long and bumpy one but underscored that the Russian and Chinese positions had “shifted” in Geneva, with both countries accepting the principle of a change of policy. Moreover, the leaders of the Syrian opposition will visit Moscow “very, very soon”. Other countries present in Geneva, such as Qatar, Turkey, Iraq and Kuwait, will use their influence on the parties to the conflict, he added.

In Fawzi’s view, the results achieved by the Action Group should not be underestimated. Kofi Annan had once again brought together the international community, with not just the P5 (the five countries with the right of veto in the United Nations Security Council) but also key regional power and organisations sitting at the same table. Annan had led participations to agreement on the concept, the policy and the principle of a transitional governing body in Syria.