Syria crisis: Russia warns against UN withdrawal

During talks with the US State Department, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov “stressed the importance of maintaining the UN presence in Syria”, the ministry said in a statement.

“It was stressed that the exit of the UN from Syria would have serious, negative consequences not only for the country, but for the whole region,” said the statement.

The UN’s observer mission, which was part of outgoing UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan, expires on Thursday.

The mission is seen as having failed because it has not stopped the violence and the government has not withdrawn its heavy weaponry, so it is not expected to be renewed.

But the BBC’s Barbara Plett at the UN says Secretary General Ban Ki-moon wants some form of UN presence to remain in the country.

The Security Council is expected to accept his proposal for a small political liaison office – attached to a yet-to-be appointed new special envoy – to keep a dialogue going between all parties until peace talks can be held, says our correspondent.


BBC has the full article

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