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Assad's fate to be decided only by Syrian people: Annan


09:21, March 27, 2012

MOSCOW, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's fate could be determined only by the Syrian people, UN-Arab League joint envoy Kofi Annan said here Monday.

"Only the Syrian people could make the decision of Assad's resignation. I am not the one to decide," Annan told a press conference here.

He also called on all relevant parties in Syria to sit behind the negotiation table, adding that the Syrian government could make the first steps to demonstrate its good will and prove the people and international community its intention to move forward.

"The crisis cannot be allowed to drag on indefinitely," Annan said.

Meanwhile, Annan stressed that it was unreasonable to set an artificial deadline for a settlement to the Syrian crisis.

"This is highly impractical to set some time for the sides to reach an agreement," Annan stressed, adding that he did not rule out a UN monitoring mission could be deployed in Syria to ensure the government and opposition to honor their commitments.

Annan also said he was satisfied with the results of his visit to Moscow and his talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

"They told me they were ready to work with me and to inspire the (Syrian) sides to such a cooperation," Annan said.

The envoy also confirmed that he would fly to Beijing later on Monday and hold talks with the Chinese side on the Syrian crisis.


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