Syria says it will start implementing Kofi Annan’s peace plan by April 10 but wants commitments that the opposition will also lay down its arms.
UN-Arab League envoy Annan has asked the United Nations Security Council to back the deadline, with a full ceasefire to follow within 48 hours of it.
However, before news of his behind-closed-doors plea emerged, Russia had already warned against giving ultimatums to Damascus.
“Ultimatums and artificial deadlines rarely help the matter,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on a visit to Armenia. “Of course, we all want a swift end to the bloodshed but these demands need to be addressed to everyone who is fighting in Syria.”
As violence continues, with reports of opposition targets being bombarded in Homs on Monday, the US said it was sceptical about Syria’s will to comply.