Annan, Assad agree to new ‘approach’ in Syria

"I also stressed the importance of moving ahead with a political dialogue which the president accepts," he said.

Annan did not disclose details of the agreement.

After meeting with Assad, Annan traveled to Tehran to meet with Iranian officials, according to Iran’s Mehr News Agency. Iran is viewed as a key ally of Syria in the Middle East.


Annan admitted in an interview with French newspaper Le Monde this weekend that the attempts for a diplomatic solution in Syria thus far have failed, though he held out hope for eventual success.

It’s unclear whether the meeting between Annan and Assad will actually lead to a curbing of the violence in Syria. Assad agreed to abide by Annan’s peace plan back in the spring, but a cease-fire that was a key element of the plan was largely ignored by Assad’s forces.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says that more than 17,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

In an interview Sunday with German TV station ARD, Assad accused the United States of being “part of the conflict,” according to the Telegraph

“They offer the umbrella and political support to those gangs to ... destabilize Syria," Assad said.

Assad said that Annan’s plan failed because “many countries don’t want it to succeed.”

Back at home, President Obama has faced criticism from lawmakers for not doing more to get involved in the conflict, most notably from Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainKelly takes under-the-radar approach in Arizona Senate race Voting rights, Trump's Big Lie, and Republicans' problem with minorities Sinema, Manchin curb Biden's agenda MORE (R-Ariz.). McCain on Sunday said it was “shameful” how the Obama administration has handled Syria.

The administration says it still wants a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Syria, while calling for Assad to step down.

Speaking in Japan on Sunday, Clinton said the Assad regime’s “days are numbered.”

“The sooner there can be an end to the violence and a beginning of a political transition process, not only will fewer people die, but there’s a chance to save the Syrian state from a catastrophic assault that would be very dangerous not only to Syria but to the region,” she said.