Alice Fordham
The Washington Post
April 8, 2012

Syrian officials called on Sunday for a written statement guaranteeing that armed rebels against the government will lay down their arms, before security forces withdraw from towns, jeopardizing hopes that a U.N.-brokered peace plan could halt violence there.

Jihad Makdissi, a spokesman for the foreign ministry, said that reports that Syrian forces would pull back from cities by an April 10 deadline set by the U.N. Security Council-backed plan were “wrong.”

The joint U.N. and Arab League envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, thrashed out the six-point peace plan endorsed on April 1 by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. But Makdissi says Annan has “not delivered until now written guarantees regarding the approval of terrorist armed groups to end violence and readiness to lay down its weapons,” according to news wires.

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