Nicole Gaouette and Peter Green
April 29, 2012
The UN-backed Syria peace plan is failing, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, casting doubt on the prospects for stopping the bloodshed soon.
Citing the Syrian government’s attacks on civilians and its failure to withdraw heavy weapons from population centers, Nuland yesterday blamed President Bashar al-Assad for the fact that “the plan as a whole is failing.” She said it’s still essential to deploy as many as 300 unarmed UN cease-fire observers in the effort to limit the violence.
The peace plan “is failing thus far because Assad has not met the obligations that he has made to Kofi Annan,” the UN and Arab League special envoy who brokered the cease-fire agreement, Nuland said in Washington. If that continues, the U.S. and allies anticipate putting further pressure on the regime by seeking a travel ban, additional financial sanctions and an arms embargo at the UN Security Council, she said.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told reporters in New Delhi yesterday that despite Syria’s repeated commitments to end the violence, “killings continue without relent; shelling and explosions in residential areas go on.” An advance contingent of 15 UN observers has reported heavy weapons in populated areas in violation of the agreement, he said.