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Medvedev to set forth Russian approach to ending violence in Syria

March 25, 2012, 2:34 UTC+3

The Russian president will hold talks with Kofi Annan

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MOSCOW, March 25 (Itar-Tass) — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will on Sunday meet Kofi Annan, the U.N.-Arab League Joint Special Envoy for the Syrian settlement, to set forth Russia’s approach to ending violence in Syria.

“Russia supports the mission of Kofi Annan, maintains permanent contacts with him and wants to demonstrate its interest in searching for ways of settlement in Syria not only in words but also in deeds,” Russian president’s aide Sergei Prikhodko told Itar-Tass.

He emphasized that ending violence in Syria was a priority task for Russia.

“In this context and given the fact that the Syrian authorities are ready to begin such a dialogue, the main thing is to persuade the Syrian opposition to sit down to talks with representatives of the authorities and reach a peaceful settlement to the crisis,” the Kremlin spokesperson went on to say.

“The six-point plan proposed by Kofi Annan offers the only realistic perspective to achieve this goal. We intend to continue our all-round support for Annan’s activities to settle the Syrian crisis,” Prikhodko stressed.

On March 21, Russia voted for an official statement of the chairman of the United Nations Security Council that endorsed Kofi Annan’s six-point proposal for peace in Syria.

Prikhodko said that President Medvedev would set forth our position of principle to the question of stopping fire and violence in Syria that would be hard to implement without putting an end to the current external arms and political support for the Syrian opposition. Formats like the Friends of Syria Group are unlikely to contribute to solving the Syrian crisis. The decisions they pass are usually based on unilateral support for one of the sides in conflict. The Group’s first meeting in Tunisia demonstrated that on March 24.

Russia believes that improvement of humanitarian situation in Syria should be an important part of the Syrian settlement plan.

“We welcome the efforts of Valerie Amos, the U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, to establish a constructive dialogue with Damascus and the opposition on ways to overcome humanitarian consequences of the Syrian crisis, “ Prikhodko emphasized. 

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