Canada Regrets Resignation of UN Special Envoy Kofi Annan

August 2, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement upon news of the resignation of UN Special Envoy Kofi Annan:

“Canada is not overly surprised to learn of this development given Assad’s blatant disregard for commitments to Mr. Annan’s peace plan.

“The Assad regime’s violent campaign to suppress the Syrian opposition has claimed tens of thousands of innocent lives; it threatens to claim even more lives and further burden Syria’s neighbours.

“We are grateful for Mr. Annan’s noble and tireless efforts to bring peace to Syria and support a Syrian-led political transition. Sadly, with his departure, his six-point plan is in practical terms dead.

“Canada calls on all parties to end the violence and to respect the basic rights of all Syrians.

“Canada further calls on UN member states to support the resolution on Syria currently before the General Assembly. The resolution strongly condemns the callous brutality of the Assad regime.

“However, words must be accompanied by actions. Canada calls on the UN Security Council to impose economic sanctions and an arms embargo on Syria under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

“This will only be possible if those who shelter the regime from international sanction join with the rest of the international community in increasing the pressure on Syria to end the violence.”

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