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Annan Warns Against Arming Syrian Rebels, Urges Diplomatic Solution

Kofi Annan
Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called for a diplomatic solution to the continued bloodshed in Syria.<br /> <br /> Speaking in Cairo, Annan, the current UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, warned against calls to arm Syrian rebels, saying "further militarization" would make the situation worse.<br /> <br /> Annan&#39;s comments came as Libya&#39;s prime minister denied allegations by Russia his transitional government is training and arming Syrian rebels fighting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.<br /> <br /> The UN says 7,500 people, mainly civilians, have been killed in the year-long government crackdown on anti-Assad protesters.<br /> <br /> Syria&#39;s deputy oil minister became the highest-ranking government official to <strong><a href="" target="_blank">announce his defection</a></strong>, saying he was "joining the revolution of the people" and that he expected other officials to soon follow.<br /> <br /> <h6> With AP and AFP reports</h6>