France calls for up to 400 Syria monitors

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France calls for up to 400 Syria monitors

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France has called for at least 300 to 400 observers to be deployed to Syria to monitor a fragile truce following its 13-month uprising.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe told delegates at the Friends of Syria summit in Paris that time was short and that if the ceasefire failed, Syria could descend into all-out civil war that could stretch across the region.

France also called for humanitarian corridors or buffer zones within Syria to help allow a six-point peace plan to succeed.

Syria signed a agreement with United Nations observers on Thursday detailing the terms of their ceasefire monitoring mission. The first representatives of the UN team arrived in the country earlier this week.

The arrangement was agreed as the UN Security Council heard a call for the deployment of a larger team. Jean-Marie Guehenn, who works with international envoy Kofi Annan, told members additional observers could change the “political dynamics on the ground in Syria”.