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ABU DHABI, June 3 (Itar-Tass) — Arab League secretary-general Nabil al-Arabi sent a request to the UN Security Council to boost the number of the UN observer mission in Syria.
According to the regional mass media, the Pan-Arab organisation also suggested expanding the mission’s powers to protect Syrian people. Al Arabi denounced in his letter the mass killings of residents in the Syrian village of Houla.
“I call on you to respond quickly to stop violence in Syria and to take necessary measure to protect its citizens,” he noted. In the words of the Arab League secretary-general, it is necessary “to increase the number of international observers”, mandating them powers, necessary for halting violence.
The number of observers has reached some 300 people, that is the level, provided for by resolution 2043 of the UN Security Council.
The US administration hopes, as before, for a political settlement of the situation in Syria and would like Russia to use its influence and to convince President Bashar Assad of the need for fulfilling the plan of special representative of the UN and the Arab League Kofi Annan.
For instance White House deputy press secretary Josh Ernest said that President Barack Obama is confident that the situation in Syria can be settled diplomatically, but Assad should quit his post for this purpose and hand over power to other political forces. Ernest stressed that this is the only way to settle the problem.
His colleague from the State Department Mark Toner noted that it is necessary for this purpose to have full unity at the UN Security Council that should step up pressure on the Assad regime. Otherwise, the State Department spokesman claimed, a danger for further deterioration of the situation or a civil war will emerge.
In turn, the Russian president’s aide Yuri Ushakov, commenting on the results of Vladimir Putin’s European tour, pointed to definite softening of France’s stand in the Syrian direction. According to the aide, French President Francois Hollande spoke earlier of a possibility of military interference in Syria and even called Moscow and Beijing the main obstacles in settling the Syrian problem.
“This was not mentioned at the past talks (between Putin and Hollande); the Paris stance looked more balanced,” the Kremlin representative emphasized.
He reported that Putin, Hollande as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel “agreed that they will actively work with their counterparts” on settling the Syrian problem.
Ushakov noted that the Russian leader spoke in Europe that “a failure of the Kofi Annan plan and a recurrence of the Iraqi or Libyan scenarios are fraught with dreadful consequences”. “An attempt of outside interference is inadmissible, and it is improbable that a change in the Syrian leadership will result in improving the situation,” Ushakov quoted Putin’s words.
He also underlined that Moscow insisted on “the need to treat the situation cautiously and in a balanced way”. “The crisis can be pedaled down only through arranging an intra-Syrian dialogue. The Syrian authorities should make deep-rooted reforms, while the opposition should be ready to sit at the negotiating table rather than to stage only street actions,” the Kremlin representative stressed.