Putin vows to back Annan’s plan MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed yesterday to “do everything” to support Kofi Annan’s tattered peace plan for Syria as he hosted the envoy amid escalating fighting in the regime’s stronghold Damascus.
“From the very start, from the first steps, we supported and continue to support your efforts aimed at restoring civil peace,” Putin told Annan at the start of their Kremlin meeting.
“We will do everything that depends on us to support your efforts,” the Russian leader said.
The UN-Arab League mediator replied that “the Syrian crisis is at a critical time” before the discussion was closed to the press.
Annan’s first meeting with Putin since his May return to the Kremlin came one day before Western powers plan to hold a vote on a UN Security Council resolution that threatens sanctions against the Damascus regime.
Flood-hit Japan warily eyes typhoon
ASO – Flood-battered southwestern Japan yesterday braced for a typhoon amid fears it could heap further misery on an area where at least 32 are dead or missing after record rainfall.
Typhoon Khanun was lashing the Amami island chain, south of Kyushu where four days of torrential rain have sparked landslides and flooding, forcing hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.
Khanun - “jack fruit” in Thai - packing winds of up to 108km/h, was moving west-northwest at 30km/h and was expected to graze the west of Kyushu island, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.