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ABU DHABI, March 25 (Itar-Tass) — Attention of all countries, interested in settling the protracted Syrian conflict, is riveted to the mediation mission of special envoy of the UN and the Arab League on Syria Kofi Annan.
The former UN secretary-general arrived in Moscow and will meet on Sunday President Dmitry Medvedev and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
“Russia backs Annan’s mission, is in constant contact with him and wants to show that it is interested in a search of ways for settling the situation in Syria not only in words, but also in deeds,” the Russian president’s aide Sergei Prikhodko told Itar-Tass.
He emphasized that “Russia regards as a priority task an immediate end to violence in Syria”. “In this context and taking into account the fact that the Syrian authorities are ready to start such a dialogue, the main thing is to persuade the Syrian opposition to sit at the negotiating table with representatives of authorities and to reach a peaceful solution of the crisis,” the president’s representative said with confidence.
In Prikhodko’s opinion, “the real prospect for achieving this goal is to implement Annan’s brokered “six points”. Prikhodko noted that Russia voted on March 21 for adopting an official statement by the president of the UN Security Council, approving proposals by the special envoy of the UN and the Arab League.
“We intend to render, in future too, all-out assistance to Annan’s activities on settling the Syrian crisis,” assured the Russian leader’s aide.
He stated that Medvedev at the coming meeting “will spell out our principled approach to settling the task of a ceasefire and an end to violence in Syria, which it will be difficult to materialize without putting an end to outside armed aid to the opposition and its political backing”.
“It’s highly improbable to find a settlement of the Syrian crisis in the framework of such formats as the “Group of Syrian Friends”. Decisions, taken there, are based as a rule on a lop-sided support for one of the sides in the conflict, as it was shown by the first meeting of the Group in Tunisia on February 24,” Prikhodko said.
Russia will insist in the future too that violence in Syria can be stopped only through a ceasefire by all the sides and the start of a dialogue without outside interference. This idea was expressed by the Russian Foreign Ministry, commenting on a resolution on the situation with human rights in Syria, which was adopted on March 23 by the UN Council on Human Rights at the initiative of the European Union.
“The document gives a one-sided appraisal of developments in the country, accuses only the Syrian government of violence, does not contain any demands with respect to armed opposition groups,” the Russian Foreign Ministry emphasized.
The resolution “ignores positive results of international efforts on settling the crisis, taken now also by the special envoy of the UN and the Arab League on Syria Kofi Annan”.