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The talking goes on in New York and the killing continues in Syria

Imagine you are a Syrian, besieged and vulnerable this morning, caught in the spiralling violence of a regime fighting for its survival.

You would hope that the United Nations meeting yesterday had recognised your plight and galvanised countries to act. You might even expect protection and support.

No such luck.

Last night, the United Nations Security Council was briefed by Kofi Annan, the mediator on Syria.

Diplomats emerged to warn of a country that is one step away from the abyss. This is a crisis that could explode outwards into a regional conflict.

UN envoy Kofi Annan, UN Security General Ban Ki-moon, and Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi after a meeting on the Syrian crisis Credit: APTN

Amid such apocalyptic warnings, what was actually decided? Absolutely nothing. Consultations will continue.

Russia still won't support regime change or deliver a clear message to President Assad. So there is deadlock at the Security Council.

Kofi Annan was outwardly calm but clearly exasperated. I asked him what his message was to the beleaguered Syrian people.

He replied that there might be better options than diplomacy - hinting at military intervention - but he quickly added that was up to the UN Security Council.

But it is revealing that Annan realises his own peace plan may fail and that other options need to be debated.

The problem for diplomacy is that it is doomed to failure unless there are consequences for defying international opinion.

When President Assad ignores calls for a ceasefire, nothing happens. Why should he comply with other demands?

So the talking goes on in New York and the killing continues in Syria.

It would be understandable if ordinary Syrians, yearning for stability but seeing only chaos, were becoming pretty cynical about the United Nations and its pleas for peace.

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