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Kofi Annan 'bitterly disappointed' with Ebola response

Kofi Annan has said that developed countries had failed to respond to the crisis until it reached their shores.

The former UN secretary general told the BBC's Newsnight:

I am bitterly disappointed by the response. I am disappointed in the international community for not moving faster. In this world we are in it together.

If the crisis had hit some other region it probably would have been handled very differently. In fact when you look at the evolution of the crisis, the international community really woke up when the disease got to America and Europe. And yet we should have known that in this interconnected world it was only a matter of time.

I point the finger of blame at the governments with capacity ... I think there's enough blame to go around. The African countries in the region could have done a bit more, they could have asked for help much faster and the international community could have organised ourselves in a much better way to offer assistance. We didn't need to take months to do what we are doing today.

– Kofi Annan

Blair failed to live up to brilliant expectations, Annan says

Kofi Annan also told The Times (£) that the former Prime Minister failed to live up to early expectations during his time in power to the point in 2006, when he could no longer "act as a credible mediator” in international affairs.

He told the newspaper:

Blair had the potential to be one of the most brilliant politicians of his time and really for a period was a star. And now you ask me the questions, ‘What went wrong? What changed him?’ It is very difficult to say.

Blair could have stopped Iraq invasion, says Kofi Annan

Tony Blair stood shoulder to shoulder with President Bush ahead of the 2003 invasion. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive

Tony Blair was the only man with the power to stop President Bush from invading Iraq in 2003, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has claimed.

Mr Annan said unlike himself and then US Secretary of State Colin Powell, Mr Blair had the ear of President Bush ahead of the war and could have acted.

Speaking to The Times (£), he said: "I think I will for ever wonder what would have happened if, without a second [UN] resolution ... Blair had said 'George, this is where we part company. You’re on your own."

Mr Annan added: "I really think it could have stopped the war ... It would have given the Americans a pause. It would have given them a very serious pause to think it through ... All this would have raised a question: ‘Do we go this alone?’"


Kofi Annan to hold talks with Syrian president

Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad welcomes UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan in Damascus Credit: REUTERS/Khaled Al Hariri

International peace envoy Kofi Annan has arrived in the Syrian capital of Damascus for talks with President Bashar al-Assad, his spokesman said.

It comes a day after the international peace envoy admitted that his peace plan had so far failed to end 16 months of bloodshed.

UN and government sources said Annan and Assad would not meet tonight.

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