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The commander of United Nations observers in Syria said that the government of President Bashar al-Assad has renewed its commitment to Kofi Annan’s cease-fire plan.
Major-General Robert Mood, a Norwegian, told reporters in Damascus that the mission will resume its operations, suspended more than two weeks ago, immediately after conditions allow monitors to do their work.
“We are reviewing this on a daily basis,” Mood said, according to an e-mailed video sent by his office.
Mood suspended the mission’s activities on June 16 after increasing violence made it impossible for the observers to monitor the cessation of violence and support implementation of Annan’s plan. The UN has 291 unarmed military observers and 89 civilian monitors in Syria.
Mood said he met Deputy Foreign Minister Fayssal Mekdad today and “received from the government a very clear commitment on the six-point plan.”
“The urgency of stopping the violence is maybe the most important issue for everyone involved,” Mood said. “There is this feeling that it’s too much talk in nice hotels, in nice meetings and too little action to move forward and stop the violence.”
Syria’s government is fighting a growing insurrection in which more than 10,000 people have died, according to UN estimates. At least 18 people were killed today, the Local Coordination Committees in Syria said in an e-mail. Authorities have portrayed the unrest as a conspiracy and the protesters as radical Islamists.
To contact the reporter on this story: Donna Abu-Nasr in Beirut at firstname.lastname@example.org
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