Diplomats: UN backs Syria pullout by April 10

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Diplomats say the U.N. Security Council has agreed on a statement endorsing the April 10 deadline for Syria to halt the use of troops and heavy weapons in cities and towns.

The presidential statement, obtained by The Associated Press, raises the possibility of "further steps" if Syria doesn't implement the peace plan outlined by international envoy Kofi Annan. It calls on the Syrian government to "urgently and visibly" fulfill its agreement on the withdrawals.

The council scheduled a meeting Thursday morning where diplomats said the presidential statement would be read. The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the meeting.

Annan is scheduled to brief the U.N. General Assembly by videoconference at an open meeting Thursday morning.