After Amos, Annan hopes to visit Syria 'fairly soon'

Will Kofi Annan be able to enter Syria anytime soon? Only time — and Syrian officials’ proclivities — can tell.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said an official letter containing information on Annan’s mission in Syria is now on its way to President Bashar Assad, CBC News reports. Syria said it needs this information on the newly appointed U.N.-Arab League envoy before Annan is allowed to enter the country.

Ban strongly urged Syrian authorities to fully cooperate with Annan. This comes after Syria refused U.N. humanitarian aid chief Valeria Amos’ entry in the country. Amos said she was “deeply disappointed” that she was not able to visit Syria after repeated requests to meet Syrian officials to discuss the country’s humanitarian situation.

A senior Western diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity that the refusal came despite Russia’s efforts to gain her access. Last week, Russia encouraged Ban to send a representative to Syria to liaise with all sides for the safe transit of aid convoys.

Libya, meanwhile, has pledged to donate $100 million in humanitarian aid to the Syrian National Council. Mustafa Abdel, chairman of Libya’s National Transitional Council, even offered the opposition to open an office in Tripoli. Libya expelled the Syrian charge d’affaires and his Tripoli staff in February in protest of the Assad regime’s continued crackdown against demonstrators.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.