Lieberman: Annan resignation shows world cannot influence Syria


(JTA) – Kofi Annan’s resignation is a “stark demonstration” of the international community’s failure to influence events in Syria, according to Israel’s foreign minister. 

Avigdor Lieberman made the comments yesterday in Tirana, Albania, according to Israel Army Radio. 

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Earlier that day, Annan told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Arab League Secretary General Nabil el-Araby that he would not renew his mandate as the organizations’ envoy when it expires on August 31.

Annan, himself a former UN secretary-general, cited “increasing militarization on the ground” and “the clear lack of unity” at the UN Security Council as the main reasons for his decision. 

“To regain its ability to stabilize global and Middle East conflicts, the international community must take actual action instead of limiting itself to making statements,” Lieberman reportedly said. 

Syria recently moved troops from the Golan Heights, adjacent to Israel, to Damascus in an effort to bolster defenses around the capital city. 

In June, Ki-moon put the death toll in Syria at 11,000 people. The upheaval broke out 17 months ago as government forces cracked down on protestors demonstrating against the dictatorial regime of Bashar Assad. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said last month that more than 19,000 people have been killed in the fighting between rebel forces and the government, including 2,500 fatalities in July 2012 alone. 

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