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PACE to hold urgent debate on Syria

October 03, 2013, 6:37 UTC+3

The initiative to hold this debate in Strasbourg was put forward by the Russian delegation

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MOSCOW, October 3 (Itar-Tass) - The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Thursday will hold an urgent debate on the situation in Syria. The initiative to hold this debate in Strasbourg was put forward by the Russian delegation, its head Alexei Pushkov said.

In the draft recommendations, worked out based on the report of Swiss parliamentarian Björn von Sydow, the Assembly welcomes the course towards chemical disarmament in Syria and calls to resolve the conflict only by peaceful means. “PACE welcomes the fact that against the background of the threats of the West to launch military strikes, a political approach has prevailed and active diplomatic efforts led to the conclusion by mid-September 2013 of a framework agreement between the Russian Federation and the United States on the destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria and adopt a UN Security Council resolution setting the conditions for the implementation of this measure,” the document says. The Council of Europe parliamentarians also point out that the decision of the UN Security Council “revives the hopes for peace and a political solution to the conflict.”

At the same time PACE warns that the international community’s agreements on chemical disarmament in Syria “do not stop the war, which may continue with conventional weapons.” In this connection, the Assembly intends to “encourage and strongly support the organisation in Geneva of an international peace conference on Syria (Geneva 2) and express the hope that the conference would be convened before the end of 2013.”

The “roadmap of the political transition process in Syria, for the first time approved by the UN Security Council, is to gradually create the conditions for a political process led by the Syrian forces, and eventually make it possible to hold fair elections on the basis of Kofi Annan’s peace plan and the Geneva Communiqué of June 2012 . The Syrian people should have an opportunity to freely build their own future,” the document says.

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