Monday, September 10, 2012

Kofi Annan On AC360 Tonite

Kofi Annan Speaks w/ @andersoncooper about #Syria's Conflict
in invu airing tonight on @AC360

September 10th, 2012
02:24 PM ET

Kofi Annan, former U.N. Secretary General and U.N. Special Envoy to Syria, spoke with Anderson Cooper for an interview that will air tonight on Anderson Cooper 360°.

Below is a sound bite from Annan on Syria.

ANDERSON COOPER: It's always interesting to me and I've asked this of a number of people who work at the UN, it's just personally, when you are dealing with people who you know are lying to you, when you're dealing with world leaders who you know are not telling you the truth, I mean as a reporter it's a frustrating thing but you have human lives at stake here. When you're meeting with Bashar al-Assad, and you know that what he's saying to you is not factually true, how do you deal with it?

KOFI ANNAN: It's a very good question and it's a tough issue to deal with. You have to press them, you have to let them know that you don't believe what you are being told. You have to, as bad as it may seem, try to open some door, appeal to something in them to say that look, this cannot go on, this is simply unacceptable. And you are not going to get away with it. A day of reckoning and accounting will come and you better look after your people and take the, do the right thing. If you think you are going to be able to get away with this, you are dreaming. But it doesn't always impress them.

COOPER: The flip side of it is that for instance in Syria, there is a dislike of the UN among the population because they feel like you're allowing this to happen. So it's not like, you're sort of, it's a no win situation for you in both cases.

ANNAN: It is a no win situation and I think part of the problem is our fault, in the sense that we have not been able to give people realistic expectations. We have to lower the expectation. For anyone to have expected the UN to stop the massacre, I mean I tried through negotiations, we put down the 6 point plan, we had a political transition agreement in Geneva at the end of May, was the sort of thing we can do trying to get people to the table. When you have protagonists who are determined to go at each other, fighting each other and you send in UN observers to monitor this cease fire which held only for a few days, you couldn't expect this unarmed UN people to stop it. But I think when they talk of the UN in this context, they are talking about the member states. And the powerful nations of the UN. What are they going to do to help us? And I must say here the divisions in the council has not been helpful, we have divisions in the region, not to talk about divisions among the Syrians themselves. In the end it was the innocent Syrian people who are living all this drama and nightmare day after day with the sense there is no help on the horizon.

Full interview will air tonight. Anderson Cooper 360° airs weeknights at 8 & 10pm ET on CNN.

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