MOSCOW, April 17 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia deems it important that ceasefire in Syria should continue and all the sides strictly fulfill Kofi Annan’s plan. This was stated in the Russian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday after the meeting of Mikhail Bogdanov, the Russian president’s special envoy for the Middle East and deputy foreign minister, and Riyad Khaddad, the Syrian ambassador to Moscow.
The ministry noted that the sides “discussed the developments in Syria after the ceasefire was reached in the framework of the efforts of UN and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan on April 12, 2012.” “The ambassador stressed the resolve of the Syrian authorities to adhere to the obligations assumed,” sources in the ministry noted. “He mentioned the attempts of armed groups to disrupt the fragile truce that became more frequent in the recent days and expressed the hope that these provocations will end with the arrival of UN monitors in the country.”
“The Russian side pointed out the importance of preserving ceasefire and strict and consistent fulfillment by the Syrian government and all other parties of the obligations stemming from the Annan plan and putting in use as soon as possible the mechanism of monitoring by the UN,” sources said. “It was stressed there is the urgent need to intensify the efforts toward launching an inclusive inter-Syrian dialogue to make the irreversible the process of normalization that was started.” “In this connection Mikhail Bogdanov assessed contacts with the delegation of the Syrian opposition Coordination Committee for Democratic Transformations held in Moscow these days,” the sources in the ministry noted.
“We discussed matters of the implementation of Kofi Annan’s plan at the meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov,” the Syrian ambassador told Itar-Tass earlier. “We adhere to it, while some armed terrorist groups of Syria do not.” The ambassador said that this is a serious problem “with which we are very much concerned.”
The ambassador answered in the negative the question whether his visit to the Russian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday was connected with the reception of the delegation of “the internal Syrian opposition” in Moscow. “My visit is devoted to Kofi Annan’s plan,” the diplomat said.
Khaddad also noted that a group of observers now stays in Syria, monitoring the implementation of the Road Map of the envoy of the UN and the Arab League.