As UN envoy Kofi Annan met with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad Tuesday (May 29th) as a number of countries expelled Syrian diplomats in protest of the "massacre" in Houla, AFP reported.
In the meeting, Annan -- the UN-Arab League special envoy to Syria -- conveyed "the grave concern of the international community about the violence in Syria, including in particular the recent events in Houla," his office said.
"He conveyed in frank terms his view to President al-Assad that the six-point plan cannot succeed without bold steps to stop the violence and release detainees, and stressed the importance of the full implementation of the plan," his office said.
Al-Assad was quoted as saying, "The success of the Annan plan depends on the end of terrorist acts and those who support them."
On Friday and Saturday, 108 people were killed in the Houla region of Syria, including 49 children and 34 women, some of them shot dead at point-blank range.
"Most of the rest of the victims in Taldau, one of the areas of Houla, were summarily executed in two separate incidents that local people are attributing to a shabiha paramilitary group," said Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the UN human rights agency.
In protest of the killings, which human rights groups have accused the regime of carrying out, France, Australia, Canada, Germany, Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United States have expelled Syrian diplomats from their countries.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the move was aimed at increasing pressure on senior figures in the regime "to get the message across to them that they have to choose, that time will run out for al-Assad."
Damascus has denied responsibility for the killings, blaming foreign-funded "terrorist groups" instead.
Meanwhile, at least 19 people were killed in violence on Tuesday in Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
In central Homs province, seven civilians were killed overnight -- three of them died when the army shelled the outskirts of restive Qusayr, while four died in the city of Homs.
Meanwhile, Arab foreign ministers will meet on Saturday for talks on the 15-month conflict in Syria, Kuwait's top diplomat Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Sabah said.
Kuwait, current holder of the Arab League's rotating presidency, is making contacts with all parties to prepare the ground for the meeting, Sheikh Sabah said on Tuesday, cited by the official KUNA news agency.
"Kuwait is exerting efforts to end massacres and bloodshed in Syria and protect the Syrian people," the Kuwaiti minister said.
Sheikh Sabah said he is scheduled to meet the foreign ministers of China and Russia, both allies of Syria that have used their veto powers on the UN Security Council to block Arab- and Western-backed moves to condemn the government of al-Assad.