UNITED NATIONS, June 8 (Itar-Tass) — Russia considers counterproductive and dangerous the predictions of the failure of the plan of the UN and Arab League Joint Special Representative for the Syrian crisis settlement Kofi Annan, as well as statements by some Syrian opposition groups on refusal from its fulfilment, Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin said on Thursday.
According to him, the Annan plan, backed by the UN Security Council, is the basis, which should unite the international community for the settlement of the situation in Syria. It provides, inter alia, for stopping the use of heavy weapons, the withdrawal of troops from settlements and beginning of a political dialogue.
Speaking at a meeting of the UN General Assembly, Churkin said that many measures that have been taken earlier to resolve the Syrian crisis are ineffective. “The policy of unilateral pressure does not work and economic sanctions against Damascus only exacerbate the humanitarian situation and stir up enmity between different population groups. Peremptory demands of the immediate regime change hang in the air,” said the Russian ambassador. According to him, it is wrong to rely on the support of those opposition groups that are calling for foreign military intervention.
“It should be admitted that that the supply of weapons to armed opposition groups and funding its activity only adds fuel to the fire, creating a fertile breeding ground for terrorist activities of the so-called ‘third force,’” Churkin said.
The representative of the Russian Federation to the UN called for a thorough and convincing investigation of the massacres in the town of Houla in the suburbs of Hama, behind which, he said, are those who “seek to plunge Syria into the abyss of a fratricidal civil war and derail efforts for a political solution to the crisis.”
According to Churkin, the international community should agree on practical steps to transfer the Syrian conflict into the political course. “We need to mobilise the key external players who have real influence on various Syrian sides, for coordinated action in support of the Annan plan, ensuring the full implementation of UN Security Council resolutions 2042 and 2043, in which the UN Security Council endorsed the plan and authorised the deployment of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS),” said the Russian official.
To this end, according to Churkin, Russia puts forward the initiative of the earliest calling of an international conference on the Syrian issue. “We are ready for consultations with the concerned sides on the modalities of such a conference and its practical results,” the Russian Federation’s representative said.
“Russia’s firm stance in favour of achieving a politico-diplomatic settlement in Syria remains unchanged,” Churkin emphasised.