The Freeland File
Global Market Data
Tales from the Trail
Lucy P. Marcus
David Cay Johnston
The Great Debate
Jack & Suzy Welch
Macro & Markets
Lipper Awards 2012
Personal Finance Video
Photos of the week
Our top photos from the past week. Full Article
Images of February
Afghan civilian deaths could delay strategic pact with U.S.
Actor Michael Madsen arrested after alleged fight with son
11 Mar 2012
UPDATE 4-Harrisburg, Pa. to skip two debt payments
10 Mar 2012
Sixteen Afghan civilians killed in rogue U.S. attack
11 Mar 2012
Peter Thiel, university-hater, heads to campus
11 Mar 2012
Obama warns against ”loose talk” of war on Iran
U.S. serviceman detained in Afghanistan over civilian casualties
Israel asks U.S. for arms that could aid Iran strike
Turkish soap operas ignite culture war in Middle East revolution – Decoder
Thu, Mar 8 2012
Israeli army releases video of airstrike
Sat, Mar 10 2012
Is CNN buying Mashable? -- SXSW
Sun, Mar 11 2012
Annan ends Syria visit with no clear progress
U.S. deeply skeptical about Syria military options
Sat, Mar 10 2012
France pessimistic on Syria vote, EU plans sanctions
Sat, Mar 10 2012
Analysis & Opinion
Relax, America! Not everything is as dire as you think
Beneath the radar, a Russia-Pakistan entente takes shape
United Nations »
Video captures explosion at a Homs mosque
Fri, Mar 9 2012
1 of 4. Smoke rises as Idlib city is shelled by government forces March 11, 2012. Activists said at least four people were killed in Idlib on Sunday after troops and tanks moved in a day earlier.
By Dominic Evans
Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:51am EDT
BEIRUT (Reuters) - U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan has ended talks with President Bashar al-Assad and left Syria with little sign of progress on halting the country's growing political bloodshed.
"I am optimistic for several reasons," Annan said in Damascus on Sunday. "The situation is so bad and so dangerous that all of us cannot afford to fail."
There was no clear response from Assad to Annan's "concrete proposals" for a ceasefire, dialogue and humanitarian aid. Assad told Annan opposition "terrorists" were blocking any political solution.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in New York on Monday when the U.N. Security Council holds a special meeting on Arab revolts.
Russia, long an ally of Syria, and China have blocked attempts to pass a Security Council resolution condemning Damascus for its attempts to crush a year-old rebellion by force, in which thousands have died.
Moscow and Beijing want any international blame for the violence to be apportioned more evenly. China's Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Ming said in Riyadh on Sunday both Syrian sides should stop fighting and aid should be sent to strife-torn areas - but he also warned other states not to use aid to "interfere".
Saudi Arabia and Qatar have taken a hawkish line against the Syrian government.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Feisal on Sunday repeated calls for the Syrian opposition to be provided with weapons. This was the only way to end the conflict without foreign intervention, he said.
"The regime in Syria is committing a massacre of its own citizens," he added, after talks with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in Riyadh.
"We cannot accept the completely unreasonable continuation of the atrocities being perpetrated by the Assad regime against its own people," Westerwelle said.
The United Nations says Assad's forces have killed more than 7,500 people in their crackdown on protesters and insurgents. Authorities say rebels have killed 2,000 soldiers.
Annan's mission coincided with a Syrian military offensive against opposition strongholds in the northwest.
Activists said at least four people were killed in the town of Idlib on Sunday after troops and tanks moved in a day earlier. Three soldiers and a civilian were also killed in fighting in the village of Janoudiya in Idlib province on Sunday morning, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
State news agency SANA said "terrorists" shot dead a former boxing champion, Ghiath Tayfour, in the city of Aleppo and also killed a leading Baath Party member in Homs province.
Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which are both ruled by autocrats and espouse a strict version of Sunni Islam, are improbable champions of democracy in Syria. Riyadh has an interest in seeing Assad fall because this could weaken its Shi'ite regional rival Iran, which has been allied with Syria since 1980.
The exiled opposition Syrian National Council ruled out talks while Assad is in power.
"Negotiations can never take place between the victim and torturer: Assad and his entourage must step down as a condition before starting any serious negotiations," it said.
(Editing by Andrew Roche)
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Back to top
New York Legal
Support & Contact
Advertise With Us
Connect with Reuters
Our Flagship financial information platform incorporating Reuters Insider
An ultra-low latency infrastructure for electronic trading and data distribution
A connected approach to governance, risk and compliance
Our next generation legal research platform
Our global tax workstation
About Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.