Assad suggests "ground-up" end to Syria violence - Annan

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 10, 2012 8:05 AM
Assad suggests "ground-up" end to Syria violence - Annan

GENEVA (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has proposed ending Syria's conflict "step by step", starting with districts that have seen the worst violence, international mediator Kofi Annan told a news conference in Tehran on Tuesday.

"He made a suggestion of building an approach from the ground up in some of the districts where we have extreme violence - to try and contain the violence in those districts and, step by step, build up and end the violence across the country," Annan said, according to a transcript provided by the United Nations.

He declined to give details, saying the plan needed to be discussed with the Syrian opposition.

Annan reiterated his view that Iran could play a positive role in a political solution in Syria.

A meeting between major powers in Geneva on June 30 made clear there was to be no further militarization of the conflict, "which in effect means we should seek a peaceful solution and not continue to arm people in the conflict", Annan said.

"I'm sure this will be the case here and very serious plans will have to be made to collect arms that are in the wrong hands and ensure that the government - or the government that emerges or the government of the day - will have control of the use of firearms and weapons. In other words, one authority, one gun."

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Tom Miles; editing by Andrew Roche)