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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia Not Ruling out Peacekeepers for Syria

RIA Novosti

21:23 13/02/2012 MOSCOW, February 13 (RIA Novosti) - Russia does not rule out its participation in a potential UN peacekeeping mission to Syria, Russian Presidential Middle East Ambassador Mikhail Bogdanov said on Monday.

“As for such a mission, an agreement with the Syrian government is needed. There would be a question about its members, mandate and disposition,” Bogdanov told Ekho Moskvy FM.

Syria on Sunday rejected an Arab League resolution calling for a joint UN-Arab peacekeeping force in the country and tightened economic sanctions on Damascus.

“If we agree the terms of the mission’s presence in the country, if the principles of the UN organization charter are fulfilled, there will be no problem,” Bogdanov said.

Also on Monday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it would temporarily halt the operation of the Russian Embassy School in Damascus. “The decision was taken for the safety of the children studying there.”

The Russian embassy itself continues normal operations, the ministry added.

The Arab League resolution came a week after Russia and China blocked a UN Security Council resolution on Syria.

The Arab League has been at the forefront of regional efforts to end violence in Syria. The group put forward a plan that Assad agreed to in December, and then sent monitors to Syria.

The League withdrew its monitoring mission from Syria in January because the regime failed to end the bloodshed.

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