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Russia proposes 300-member UN monitoring mission in Syria

April 20, 2012, 22:24 UTC+3

“The draft aims to support efforts of UN/LAS Special Envoy Kofi Annan,” Lukashevich said

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MOSCOW, April 20 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia has offered the UN Security Council to set up a 300-member UN monitoring mission in Syria, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Friday.

“On April 20 Russia posted a draft resolution on the establishment of a UN monitoring mission in Syria at the UN Security Council. We took the step in development of the UN Secretary General’s report to the Security Council and made practical suggestions of the parameters of the mechanism of monitoring over the termination of violence in the Syrian Arab Republic. The fundamental clause of this document is that the current military and political situation in Syria dictates the need for international monitoring. It states that the Syrian situation remains unstable but violence went on decline after April 12,” Lukashevich said.

“The draft aims to support efforts of UN/LAS Special Envoy Kofi Annan,” Lukashevich said. “It stipulates the formation of a UN monitoring mission for the initial period of 90 days with 300 members. A Russian officer is a member of the mission’s advance team.

“The draft appeals for the urgent and complete fulfillment by all parties to the Syrian conflict of the six-item plan of Kofi Annan, which is bound to put an end to violence and violations of human rights and to ensure humanitarian supplies to the civilian population,” Lukashevich said.

“It stresses the importance of the beginning of an inclusive political process in Syria with the goal of the development of a democratic and pluralistic political system, which will ensure the equality of all strata of the Syrian population regardless of their ethnic and religious belonging. The appeal for close interaction with the UN monitors is addressed to all the Syrian sides, both the authorities and the opposition. Being the host party, the Syrian government bears the main responsibility for the security of the UN monitors,” he said.

“The UN Security Council is actively considering the Russian draft in order to make a decision already on April 21. That would be an important contribution of the international community to the promotion of the Annan plan and the sustainable peace settlement in Syria,” he said.

The first group of UN monitors came to Damascus on Sunday and started working. The monitors are bound to control the fulfillment of the UN Security Council resolution on peace settlement by the governmental forces and the opposition.

Russian Presidential Envoy for the Middle East, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Thursday that Moscow planned to enlarge to four members its participation in the UN monitoring team in Syria. “A decision is being made,” Bogdanov said.


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