Syrian government asked to declare a cease-fire immediately

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Protests in Syria

The Syrian government must be the first to declare a cease-fire and withdraw troops from civilian areas, according to the UN and Arab League Special Envoy Kofi Annan.

Mr Annan says he expects the opposition to do likewise immediately.

The cease-fire is part of the six point peace plan proposed by the special envoy to end the political crisis in Syria.

Mr. Annan says although the Syrian government has endorsed the peace plan, it must be implemented now and comprehensively.

He is however concerned that there was no indication that both parties were in a position to end the hostilities on the ground. Ahmed Fawzi is the spokesperson for the Special Envoy.

"The very clear implication here is that the government must stop first and then discuss the cessation of hostilities with the other side and with the mediator. The rationale is very simple, we are appealing to the stronger party to make a gesture of good faith and stop the killing. And we are certain if that happens the opposition will follow suit. Its imperative that the killing stops, human rights abuses stops and the violence stops. I can't tell you what the next step will be if it doesn't stop now. The Special Envoy will be briefing the Security Council on Monday and we'll take it from there."

Duration 40″

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