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Monday, November 14, 2005 

Kofi Annan confident Syria will co-operate

Kofi Annan has repeated his confidence that Syria will co-operate with the Mehlis probe. It's almost unprecedented for him to voice such optimism.

"I think what is important is that (Bashar) did say, in that speech, that he will cooperate with the investigation," he said. He said that Syria has committed itself to applying UN Resolution 1636: "There is a Syrian declaration in this respect."

The US called the speech 'appaling'.

Yesterday Syria's Foreign Minister Farouq Ash-Sharaa said that Mehlis can't interview the six Syrian witnesses in Lebanon - Annan expressed confidence that a deal can be done: "That is something Mehlis will work out and I don't want to interfere. I will leave it to the investigator, Detlev Mehlis, to work out the details with the Syrian authorities as to where the interviews will take place, whether in Lebanon, Syria or elsewhere".

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