An­nan ends trip with no deal

The Washington Times Daily - - World -

BEIRUT | In­ter­na­tional en­voy and for­mer U.N. chief Kofi An­nan left Syria on Sun­day with­out a deal to end the bloody year-old con­flict as regime forces mounted a new as­sault on rebel strongholds in the north.

Mr. An­nan said he pre­sented Pres­i­dent Bashar As­sad with con­crete pro­pos­als that “will have a real im­pact on the ground.”

“Once it’s agreed, it will help launch the process and help end the cri­sis,” he told re­porters at the end of his two-day visit to Syria.

Mr. An­nan, who also met with Syr­ian op­po­si­tion lead­ers and busi­ness­men in Da­m­as­cus, said he was op­ti­mistic fol­low­ing two sets of talks with Mr. As­sad, but ac­knowl­edged that re­solv­ing the cri­sis would be tough.

The for­mer U.N. chief called for re­forms that would cre­ate “a solid foun­da­tion for a demo­cratic Syria,” but added: “You have to start by stop­ping the killing and the mis­ery and the abuse that is go­ing on to­day and then give time for a po­lit­i­cal set­tle­ment.”

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