Annan: Syrian conflict cannot drag on indefinitely

Reuters

by Reuters

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The bombing campaign continues in Syria.

Amateur video out of Homs shows a city blanketed in smoke amid the sound of gunfire. The video, which could not be independently verified by Reuters comes as UN envoy Kofi Annan says the Syrian crisis can not drag on indefinitely.

He spoke to reporters after meeting with leaders in Russia.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) UN AND ARAB LEAGUE ENVOY, KOFI ANNAN, SAYING:

"Time is of the essence. This cannot be allowed to drag on indefinitely. And as I have told the parties on the ground, they cannot resist the transformational winds that are blowing. They have to accept that reforms have to come, change has to come, and that is the only way to deal with the situation."

He said he asked Russia for help to end the violence in Syria.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) UN AND ARAB LEAGUE ENVOY, KOFI ANNAN, SAYING:

"I think they (Russians) have, they do have influence (in Syria) and they have indicated they will use that influence and help me constructively."

It is not clear whether Moscow will increase pressure on Syrian President Bashar- al Assad to comply with the peace plan, which includes demands for a ceasefire.

Russia and China have shielded Assad from U.N. Security Council condemnation by vetoing two Western-backed resolutions over the bloodshed, but approved a Security Council statement endorsing Annan's mission.

The United Nations says more than 8,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising began a year ago. The Syrian government blames the violence on foreign backed insurgent groups.

Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.

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