MOSCOW, July 16 (Itar-Tass) —— President Vladimir Putin will meet the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for the Syrian Crisis, Kofi Annan, in Moscow on July 17.
This will be Annan’s second trip to Moscow over the past four months. The first one took place on March 25.
“The upcoming meeting signified Russia’s political support for Kofi Annan’s peace plan (approved in a statement of the U.N. Security Council President of March 21, 2012 and U.N. Security Council Resolution 2042 of April 14, 2012) and its readiness to facilitate the implementation of decisions adopted at the ministerial meeting in Geneva on June 30, 2012, with a view to launching the settlement process in Syria,” the presidential press service said on Monday, July 16.
“We regard Kofi Annan’s six-point plan as the only viable platform for solving internal problems in Syria,” it said.
“Russia calls for an extension by the U.N. Security Council of the mandate of the U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) (expires on July 21, 2012). To this end we submitted the relevant draft resolution on July 1, 2012. Our draft aims to ensure full implementation of the Geneva agreements and calls, among other things, for extending the term of the U.N. Mission in Syria for the next there months. We do not rule out an expansion of the political aspect of the UNSMIS’s tasks as part of which we think it necessary to instruct the U.N. observers to coordinate with all Syrian sides a concrete plan for a synchronised ceasefire and simultaneous withdrawal of government troops and armed groups from each town and settlement where armed confrontation is taking place. We believe that it would be necessary for all sides to interact with the U.N. observers and ensure their security, and that any threats against them would be unacceptable. The U.N. observers (278 military and 121 civilian observers) are essentially the only objective source of information about events in the country,” the press service said.
“We think that the ‘Final Communique’ of the Geneva meeting is an important milestone in international efforts on Syria. The fundamental achievement of this document is the call to all sides to the conflict to stop the violence immediately and start a political process, recognition by the Syrian sides of their responsibility for the future of their country, resolution by the Syrians of all questions concerning political reform through a broad dialogue. We intend to facilitate, together with Kofi Annan, a second round of the Action Group in Moscow or Geneva again. The possibility of holding the next meeting of the Action Group is provided for in the Geneva final communique,” the Kremlin press service said.
“Our priority at this stage is full implementation by the Syrians and external players of Kofi Annan’s peace plan and the General Communique. Working by the same rules will help avoid further degradation of the situation in this key country in the Middle East and thus prevent destabilisation in the whole region,” it said.
“To this end we are engaged in substantive work with the leadership of the Syrian Arab Republic and receive members of the opposition in Moscow (Syrian Democratic Front leader Michel Kilo on July 9 and Syrian National Council Chairman Abdelbaset Sayda on July 11). We expect the states that have influence on oppositions groups to act likewise,” the press service said.