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Lavrov calls for greater UN presence in Syria

April 20, 19:14 UTC+3

UN's presence is necessary for gathering authentic information on the spot, according to the Russian top diplomat

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© Sergey Savostianov/TASS

MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. Building up UN presence in Syria is crucial from the standpoint of gathering authentic information, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after talks with the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura on Friday.

"Generally speaking the question of building up UN presence in Syria deserves attention from various points of view including the collection of authentic information. We cannot tolerate a situation where UN agencies in their reports and public statements rely on information borrowed from other sources in Syria, not the UN’s own ones," Lavrov said.

Syrian settlement 

The prospects of starting an inter-Syrian dialogue under the UN aegis are not as optimistic as they were a month ago, Sergey Lavrov has warned. 

"Less than a month has passed since we met here at this table on March 29," Russia’s top diplomat noted.

"Today we are meeting in the conditions when the prospects of the quickest start of the dialogue under your aegis in compliance with Resolution 2254 are not as optimistic as they were a month ago. Nevertheless, we should not give up and we will do everything to avoid departure from the key accords," Lavrov said.

"The main thing is to stay within the framework of international law and we will be seeking that all our partners should follow precisely this course rather than try to play their geopolitical schemes to the detriment of the interests of the Syrian people," the Russian foreign minister said.

On April 14, the US, Great Britain and France delivered a massive missile strike against Syria without the UN Security Council’s authorization. According to the data of the Russian Foreign Ministry, the missiles hit a research center in Damascus, the headquarters of the republican guard, an air defense base, several military aerodromes and army depots.

As Russia’s Defense Ministry reported, the attack lasted from 03:42 to 05:10 local time. The Syrian air defenses shot down 71 out of 103 fired missiles. Washington, London and Paris claimed the attack was a response to an alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria’s Douma.

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