Last updated: 30 May, 2012

Annan says Syria “complex,” urges end to bloodshed

UN-Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan on Wednesday said the situation in Syria is “complex” and urged an intensification of international efforts to end bloodshed that has killed thousands of people.

“The Syrian issue is complex, and the world is closely following developments there,” Annan told Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh during a meeting in Amman.

“We need to work hard and do our utmost to find a solution to this crisis and end the suffering of Syrian people, who should have priority in all efforts exerted,” a foreign ministry statement quoted Annan as saying.

He added that “intensified international efforts are needed to face the situation in Syria and find ways to end the killings there.”

Annan, who arrived in Jordan from neighbouring Syria on a two-day trip, is due to meet King Abdullah II on Thursday, government officials said.

While in Damascus, the peace envoy met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, urging him to to take immediate steps to end 15 months of bloodshed and warning the country has reached a “tipping point.”

Western nations — the European Union, the United States and other governments including Australia, Canada and Switzerland — have ordered out Syria’s top diplomats after the killing of at least 108 people, nearly half of them children, during an assault by pro-government forces last week.

More than 13,000 people have been killed, most of them civilians, since the uprising against Assad’s regime erupted in March last year, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Amman government says around 120,000 Syrians have fled to Jordan since the uprising began.