Assad agrees to peace plan


President Bashar al-Assad has agreed to a new UN-brokered peace plan focusing on containing the most violent areas of Syria, then expanding to the entire nation, Kofi Annan, the international envoy, said yesterday.

He told a news conference in Iran that the plan had yet to be presented to the opposition. But he said Mr Assad suggested trying to calm specific districts during talks in Damascus on Monday aimed at ending the violence, which activists say has killed more than 17,000 people since March 2011.