Syria's acceptance of peace plan lauded, Assad visits Homs

DAMASCUS/UNITED NATIONS. March 28. KAZINFORM The Syrian government's acceptance Tuesday of a peace plan put forward by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan was applauded by the international community, according to Xinhua.

Meanwhile, immediate actions from the Syrian side were urged.

"The Syrian government has written to the Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan accepting his six-point plan, endorsed by the United Nations Security Council," Annan's spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said in a statement.

Syria's acceptance of the proposal could mean important progress forward in the Middle East country, said Mark Lyall Grant, the British UN ambassador who holds the rotating Security Council presidency for March.

"Obviously this is potentially a significant step and we are exploring the possibility of Kofi Annan coming to brief the Security Council later this week or early next week," said Grant.

Annan's peace plan to end violence in Syria includes proposals for a cease-fire initiated by the Syrian government, a daily halt in fighting for the delivery of humanitarian aid.

"He (Annan) had a positive answer, I hope this will be the beginning of some dynamic that will trigger good news for the Security Council," said Mohammed Loulichki, Morocco's permanent representative to the UN.

Nestor Osorio, UN permanent representative of Colombia, said that there is optimism for Syria and the most important priority at the moment is to stop the violence.

Portugal's permanent representative to the UN Jose Filipe Moraes Cabral hailed the Syrian acceptance of the plan as an undoubted "positive development."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described Syria's acceptance of Annan's plan as an "important initial step."

But at the same time, Clinton said what really counts is the actions by the Syrian government.

Also on Tuesday, Assad visited the restive Homs province in central Syria and toured the shattered neighborhood of Baba Amr in Homs city.

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