WORLD NEWS TOMORROW – Kofi Annan abruptly announced his resignation as the Arab League and United Nations envoy for the conflict in Syria, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement Thursday.
Annan’s resignation takes effect Aug. 31,Ban Ki-moon said. The resignation is a direct consequence of the escalation of the fighting in Syria and the failure of diplomacy in the region.
Ban Ki-moon says he is looking for a successor to Kofi Annan to serve as an envoy to civil-war wracked Syria. Annan came up with a six-point peace plan to resolve the crisis there, including a cease-fire that was supposed to take effect in mid-April. But the cease-fire never took hold.
Rights activists say that more than 26,000 people have died in the Syrian crisis since March 2011. Ban Ki-moon says diplomacy is still the best way to resolve the situation.Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said on Thursday and that his country regrets Annan’s decision to step down.
“We understand that it’s his decision,” Churkin told reporters. “We regret that he chose to do so. We have supported very strongly Kofi Annan’s efforts. He has another month to go, and I hope this month is going to be used as effectively as possible under these very difficult circumstances.”
Churkin added he was encouraged that Ban Ki-moon is looking for a successor to Annan.