Last updated: 1 March, 2012

UN envoy Annan to visit Arab League before Syria

United Nations and Arab League envoy to Syria Kofi Annan will visit the league’s headquarters in Cairo next Wednesday and later head to Damascus, the head of the pan-Arab bloc said on Thursday.

Annan, a former UN secretary general, “will come to Cairo on March 7,” Arabi said. “He will then conducts trips to Syria and countries with influence” on Syria, he added.

Arabi, who repeated his call for a ceasefire in Syria, added that the Arab League will host a Syrian opposition meeting in two weeks.

Annan on Wednesday said he hoped to be in Damascus soon with a “clear” message that the deadly crackdown on anti-regime protesters and rebels must end.

But Annan also demanded, after meeting UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, that the divided international community unite behind his mission as special envoy for the United Nations and Arab League.

Annan and Ban said the priority must be to halt the violence and secure humanitarian access to the Syrian cities where the UN estimates that more than 7,500 people have been killed in the past 11 months.