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Annan: Iran must be involved in efforts to solve Syria crisis.
Kofi Annan (pic), the UN and Arab League envoy to Syria, who proposed a plan to end the crisis in, acknowledges that he has "failed" and called to involve Iran in the discussions to end the crisis. He made these comments in an interview to Le Monde.
"This crisis has been ongoing for 16 months, but I started being involved three months ago. Significant efforts have been made to try to resolve this situation peacefully and politically. Clearly, we have not succeeded. And perhaps there is no guarantee that we will succeed, "Annan conveyed. "But have we considered alternatives? Do we have other options on the table? The UN Security Council said that this mission was not indefinite in time, as my own role. "
Annan mentioned the observer mission in Syria (Misnus), deployed in mid-April, with nearly 300 unarmed members in several cities in Syria, and a hundred civilian experts. Its patrols were suspended in mid-June because of the continued fighting. "It is sometimes argued that the unarmed observers have failed to stop the violence. But it was never their role! They came to Syria to check if the parties implement their commitments to cease hostilities. "
The former UN Secretary General spoke about the importance of Russia, who has so far blocked any international action against Bashar al-Assad, while stressing the need of involving Iran in the discussions. "Russia has influence but I'm not sure that the events will be determined by Russia alone. Iran is an actor. It should be part of the solution. It has influence and we can not ignore it, "stressed Mr. Annan.
So far, the Americans and Europeans have opposed that Iran, an ally of Damascus, will be invited to the recent Geneva conference, particularly because of the nuclear conflict.