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World Leaders Call For Full Implementation Of Syria Peace Plan

Many districts in the central Syrian city of Homs have been destroyed as a result of the conflict in the past year.
World leaders are urging Damascus to fully implement a UN-brokered peace plan as a fragile cease-fire seems to be taking hold in the country.

U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy agreed that Syria has yet to fully implement international envoy Kofi Annan's six-point peace plan and must do so.

The U.S. and French presidents agreed in a phone call to intensify efforts, including at the Security Council, to stop the "brutal crackdown" in Syria.

Separately, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said the cease-fire, which began early on April 12, is just a first step, adding that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must embrace political transition.

At the UN, Russia's ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Moscow also wants full implementation of the dealand supports a monitoring mission to Syria.

Chirkin added that an advanced group of monitors could be deployed as early as April 13.

"It's crucial for the monitors to be on the ground to make sure that any transgressions of the current state of end of violence is going to be detected," he said.

And China's UN envoy Wang Min urged full implementation, saying Damascus must withdraw troops from restive cities as agreed in the peace plan.

Earlier on April 12, Annan told the UN Security Council in New York that Syria has not fully complied with the terms of his peace plan, despite observing the cease-fire.

No 'Full Compliance'

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told journalists afterward that Annan said the latest developments do not constitute "full compliance by the Syrian government."

According to Rice, Annan particularly singled out Damascus's failure to withdraw troops from restive cities as well as the fact that "weapons remain in and around population centers."

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said in Geneva that the situation in Syria looks calmer after the cease-fire went into effect.

But Ban maintained that the onus is now on Syria's government to keep its promise and hold to the cease-fire.

"We are following it very closely," he said. "The world is watching, however, with skeptical eyes since many promises previously made by the government of Syria have not been kept."

Ban also said further militarization of the conflict is not the solution and that he is working with the UN Security Council to send an observer team to Syria as quickly as possible.

Sporadic Violence

There was violence in Syria on April 12 as activists said forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad fired on civilians in several places, killing at least three people.

Syrian state media reported that a roadside bomb in the central city of Aleppo killed one army officer and wounded 24 officers and cadets.

Both Damascus and the armed opposition have said they will abide by the cease-fire, but are ready to respond if attacked.

Under Annan's plan, the cease-fire and troop withdrawal is to be followed by the deployment of an observer mission and negotiations between Assad's government and the opposition on a political transition.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, and dpa
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