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article imageKofi Annan leaves Syria with no deal in place

By Layne Weiss     Mar 11, 2012 in World
Damascus - The New York Times reports that Kofi Annan, The UN-Arab League special envoy to Syria left Damascus Sunday without securing a deal to end the violent conflict which is has been going on for nearly a year.
Despite failures to reach a deal, Kofi Annan says he is still optimistic that an agreement will be reached.
"it's going to be difficult, but we have to have hope," Annan said.
"The situation is so bad and so dangerous that all of us cannot afford to fail," Annan told Reuters.
Annan said he left several proposals for resolution with Syrian officials, but Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told him that "opposition terrorists" were blocking any political solution to the conflict.
Many of Assad's opponents believe the conflict cannot be resolved until he steps down, The New York Times reports.
The United Nations has estimated that 7,500 people have been killed in the conflict.
A diplomat closely involved in the talks said "the ball is in Assad's court."
The New York Times reports that Kofi Annan flew to Qatar Sunday to speak with that country's emir, a leading critic of the Syrian government.
Saudi Arabia has also condemned the actions of the Syrian government. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Feisal has repeatedly called for the Syrian opposition to be given weapons. "This is 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.
The Saudi Foreign Minister and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle met in Riyadh to discuss the conflict.
"We cannot accept the completely unreasonable continuation of the atrocities being perpetrated by the Assad regime against its own people," Westerwelle said.
United States Secretary of State Hillary Clnton is scheduled to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Monday when the UN Security Council holds a special meeting on Arab revolts, The Guardian reports.
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