By Chris Buckley and Oliver Holmes
BEIJING/BEIRUT — Syria has accepted a ceasefire and peace plan drawn up by UN and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan, his spokesman said on Tuesday, even as Syrian troops thrust into Lebanon to battle rebels who had taken refuge there.
Annan conceded he faced a “long and difficult task” in ending the fighting, as rebel group leaders meeting in Turkey weighed how to unite their fractured movement and boost foreign backing for a year-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.
On a visit to Beijing, Annan told Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao that global cooperation with China and other countries was the only way to defuse the conflict, whose sectarian dimensions have raised fear it could spread and destabilize the wider region.
“I indicated that I had received a response from the Syrian government and will be making it public today, which is positive, and…
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