5 April 2012
At a meeting last week in Istanbul, Western and Arab nations warned President Bashar al-Assad of Syria not to delay in adopting a plan to end 'a year of bloodshed'. They called on peace envoy Kofi Annan to set a timetable for action if the violence continues. Dr Chris Phillips commented to Reuters that the meeting had produced little: "It's another damp squib from the international community, reflecting the fact that their hands are tied. They have a very limited amount of leverage that they can place on the Assad regime." He mentioned that by endorsing Annan’s plans, the group had effectively dropped previous demands for Assad to be removed from power.