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Page last updated at 09:06 GMT, Saturday, 10 March 2012

Assad mediation 'a waste of time'

The former UN chief Kofi Annan is meeting Syria's Bashar Al-Assad this morning. He has said he wants to urge President Assad to stop fighting and seek a political solution to what is happening in the country.

Dr Bassma Kodmani, a senior member of the opposition Syrian National Council, says he hopes the mediation is based on clear terms. He believes however that it would be a "waste of time" to try and get Assad to cooperate.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, a former foreign secretary, agrees that it probably is going to turn out to be a waste of time. We have to hope Kofi Annan makes progress, he says, but in the meantime the international community must explore new ways to bring maximum pressure on the Assad regime.

He believes that a solution could lie in all countries bordering Syria closing their airspace over the country and its borders.

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