UN wants Iran to help Syria
|FILE--In this January 31, 2012, file photo taken during a government-organized tour for the media, Sister Verona, the head of the Sednaya Covent, shows journalists a damaged room which was attacked by artillery fire, in Sednya north of Damascus, Syria. Inside the besieged Syrian city of Homs, where thousands of civilians are caught up in a fierce battle pitting rebels against government troops, a tiny group of Christians is making its own appeal for safety. Christians, who make up about 10 percent of the population in Syria, say they are particularly vulnerable to the violence sweeping the country. They are fearful that Syria will become another Iraq, with Christians caught in the crossfire between rival Islamic groups. (AP Photo/Bassem Tellawi, File)|
Posted: Saturday, June 23, 2012 12:00 am
GENEVA - U.N. envoy Kofi Annan said Friday that Iran should be involved in efforts to end the escalating violence that has claimed thousands of lives and forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.
Annan, the joint U.N.-Arab League envoy, told reporters that he is working to convene a so-called "contact group" meeting on Syria in Geneva on June 30. The United States has vehemently opposed the involvement of Iran, which Russia has demanded. Annan said the composition of the meeting is one of the sticking points that may not be resolved until next week.
Maj. Gen. Robert Mood praised the work of his 300 U.N. monitors, whose mandate ends next month. He conceded, however, that they are now largely confined to bureaucratic tasks and calling Syrians by phone because of the insecurity and dangers on the ground.
Saturday, June 23, 2012 12:00 am.