Palestinian Named Annan Deputy to Syria
The Arab League on Monday named Palestinian diplomat Nasser al-Qudwa to serve as former UN chief Kofi Annan's deputy in his role as international envoy to conflict-stricken Syria.
Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi said that Qudwa, a former foreign minister, had agreed to take on "this very difficult mission during a critical time for Syria."
Qudwa was selected in consultation with U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and Annan, who was named international troubleshooter to Syria on February 23, Arabi said in a statement.
More than 7,500 people have been killed in 11 months of protests against President Bashar Assad in Syria, the United Nations says, and international pressure has been growing for an initiative to end the deadly crackdown.
Annan and Qudwa are to serve under a mandate set out by a U.N. General Assembly resolution passed last month and Arab League resolutions on the crisis in Syria.
The resolution demands that Syria "ceases all violence and protects its population," free everyone detained in connection with the unrest, withdraw troops from urban areas and guarantee freedom of demonstration.
Echoing resolutions passed by the League, it insists on "full and unhindered access and movement" for Arab League monitors and international news media "to determine the truth about the situation on the ground."