UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - International mediator Kofi Annan’s deputy told the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday that Syria’s 14-month-old uprising is unlikely to stop without political negotiations between the government and opposition, U.N. diplomats said.
“(The) uprising in Syria has the characteristics of a revolutionary movement,” a diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity, summarizing remarks Annan’s deputy, Jean-Marie Guehenno, made to the 15-nation council. Another diplomat confirmed Guehenno made the remarks.
“People have lost (their) fear and are unlikely to stop their movement,” the first diplomat said. Guehenno also said that “direct engagement between government and opposition (is) impossible at the moment,” he said.
Guehenno told the council via video link from Geneva that the massacre in Houla, where over 100 people, including many children, were killed by a combination of artillery, tank fire, small arms and knives, made it more difficult to reach a solution, diplomats said.
He also expressed “serious doubts over the commitment of Syrian authorities to the Annan plan,” the first diplomat said.
He reiterated what Annan told Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during his visit to Damascus this week: that the “Syrian authorities must implement radical change, in particular in their military posture,” first diplomat said.
Guehenno also told the council that only political negotiations can restore peace to Syria, the diplomats said.
Reporting by Louis Charbonneau; Editing by Anthony Boadle