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Annan 'optimistic' after talks with Assad to end Syria bloodshed

Damascus, Mon, 12 Mar 2012 ANI

Damascus, Mar 12(ANI): UN-Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan has said he is "optimistic" about violence reducing in Syria after a second round of talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.


He said he had handed over "concrete proposals" to end the bloodshed but admitted that no deal has been finalized in this regard after Assad rejected political dialogue, while "armed terrorist groups" operate in Syria.


Annan said he had presented proposals, which, if agreed to, "will help launch the process and help end the crisis on the ground".


"Our discussions focused on the core objectives of this process, the immediate stop to the violence and the killing, access for humanitarian agencies and the start of a political dialogue. I told the president that my main preoccupation is the welfare of the Syrian people," the BBC quoted him, as saying.


"It's going to be tough. It's going to be difficult but we have to have hope. First of all, I've been here for a very short period, almost every Syrian I've met wants peace. They want the violence to stop; they want to move on with their lives," he added.


Annan is trying to arrange a ceasefire and gain greater access for humanitarian aid agencies in Syria, but many in the opposition will be sceptical that Assad will take any notice.


Activists said Syrian troops are continuing with their an assault of the north-western city of Idlib, while rebel fighters fear a massive prolonged attack similar to that of Homs.


The United Nations said over 7,500 people have died since unrest began a year ago.


UK-based activist group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 58 people had been killed in clashes across the country. (ANI)


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