June 8, 2012 (TSR) – The UN Security Council is united in supporting the peace plan and mediation efforts of Kofi Annan, the joint UN/Arab League special envoy for Syria, to put an early end to the 16-month crisis in Syria, council President Li Baodong said Thursday.

“The council reiterated the full support to Kofi Annan’s efforts and also to his six-point peace plan and urged full implementation of Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan and the UN Security Council’s resolutions 2042 and 2043, in particular the cessation of all violence without delay,” Li, also the Chinese permanent representative to the UN, said after the 15-nation council heard a briefing by Annan, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the secretary-general of the Arab League Nabil Elaraby.

Earlier Thursday, Annan told the UN General Assembly that his six-point plan “is not being implemented,” and the situation in Syria is deteriorating.

He said it was very important now to push for the implementation of the peace plan to end the 16-month crisis in Syria or the violence will spill over the border to affect peace and stability in the region.

“I think the plan has been endorsed by every one,” Annan said, “and I’ve also said ‘if this plan is not working, or we decide, this is not the way to go, we should be looking at options,’ but as long as we all agree, the plan has merit, the question is: How do you get the Syrian government to perform, to implement it, even at this late hour?”

During the briefing, Annan proposed the establishment of an international Contact Group on Syria, a new idea to breathe new life into his peace efforts to stop violence in Syria at an early date.

“There are discussions going on about the possibility of establishing such a group and the group would include countries with real influence on the situation, countries that can influence either side — the government of Syria and the opposition,” Annan said.

The new contact group is expected to bring together Western powers, Russia and China, the two permanent members of the Security Council which are resolutely opposing any outside armed intervention or forced “regime change” in Syria.

Meanwhile, Annan also voiced his hope to see Iran as “part of the solution” to the Syrian crisis.

“Iran, as an important country in the region, I hope, will be part of the solution,” Annan said.

He also condemned the new massacre which reportedly killed more than 70 people, half of them women and children, Wednesday in Al-Qubayr, in the central Hama province.

Syria’s state TV said early Thursday that armed groups committed a massacre and killed nine people in Al-Qubayr, and denied as “categorically baseless” media reports claiming that government troops’ shelling killed more than 80 people in the village.

Government troops intervened and clashed with the gunmen at the request of local residents, it added.

The broadcaster said the massacre was designed to tarnish and frame the Syrian administration a night before the UN Security Council meeting.

On the contrary, the activists’ network Local Coordination Committees said 129 people were killed in several Syrian cities Wednesday, adding that 86 of whom were killed in Hama by the heavy shelling of government troops.

“We cannot allow mass killing to become part of everyday reality in Syria,” Annan said.

For his part, UN Secretary-General Ban said that the international community must act now to end the Syrian crisis at an early date.

“It is up to the members of the council to find common cause,” he said. “We are very much encouraged by such a strong commitment and unity of voices in condemning current recent massacres. They were all passionate in speaking out for the necessity of taking action. But let me say here that we need bolder action.”

“The violence must stop, on both sides,” he said, referring to the Syrian government and the armed opposition. “We need a peaceful transition that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people.”

Ban said UN monitors were denied access to the scene of the reported massacre site in Al-Qubayr, and “while trying to do so, the UN monitors were shot at with small arms.”

“We condemn this unspeakable barbarity and renew our determination to bring those responsible to account,” Ban said.

At the same time, Elaraby said that “enough is enough,” and the international community, including the Security Council, should “take action now” to stop the violence in Syria.



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