Support for Armed Intervention May Worsen Syria Conflict

Kofi Annan, the former United Nations secretary general, said statements in favor of military intervention in Syria may worsen the conflict.

“Sometimes by making these statements and raising the hope of the people that the cavalry is on the horizon, you complicate the situation,” Annan said in an interview to be aired tomorrow on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS.”

Annan resigned in August after six months as the UN’s special envoy to Syria, saying his task was thwarted by “finger-pointing and name-calling” in the UN’s decision-making body, where Russia has used its veto to protect Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. His departure was a blow to international efforts to broker a diplomatic solution to the country’s civil war.

Annan said Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan was “dead wrong” to criticize U.S. President Barack Obama’s support for Annan’s efforts to broker a peaceful solution, according to a transcript of the interview provided by CNN.

Ryan, in an Oct. 12 debate with Vice President Joe Biden, said Obama hadn’t done enough to prevent the violence in Syria.

Lakhdar Brahimi, who succeeded Annan in the special envoy post, told the UN Security Council last month that reducing the violence in Syria isn’t possible unless the world body is united on a way to end the 18-month conflict. The Syrian conflict, Brahimi said, threatens to further destabilize a region already facing the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.

To contact the reporters on this story: Joshua Gallu in Washington at jgallu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net

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