(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) WITH VOLATILITY on the rise in Syria, Kofi Annan wants diplomacy to play anew.
His proposal for convening an international conference to discuss threadbare the possibilities for a way out of the mess is, indeed, laudable. He has lived up to his reputation as an astute negotiator and diplomat par-excellence. The intention as outlined by his spokesperson is to stick to the original format of the Six-Point peace plan, but to ensure that intricate issues that have set in with the passage of time are addressed.
The contention to bring in a collage of neighbours as well as regional and major powers, especially China and Russia, for an open forum discussion without any set agenda could work out in the long run. Given to understand that it unintentionally lands into an egocentric debate at the United Nations Security Council, this forum can best serve the purpose for persuading Moscow and Beijing to prevail over Damascus.
Apart from diplomatic delicacies, the point of concern, however, is the allegation that the regime is using children as human shields. This comes in addition to atrocities that are blatantly being committed on women and children. The UN report alleging the same is in need of being investigated, and the perpetuators taken to task.
The carnage in Houla, Hama and Haffa are fresh in the minds of the people, and the trigger-happy security forces cannot be allowed to go on unchecked. The onus also falls on the Blue Helmets that are on ground supervising the implementation of the peace plan to check with force such incidents - and come to the rescue of the civilians. If need be, their mandate can be extended to use force as a deterrent.
Annan's call for a conference that would also involve more nations shouldn't hit snags. The move already seems to be in rough waters as the United States has objected over its composition. There is no harm in furthering the dialogue canvas if it bears fruit.