Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia Supports Annan's Appointment as Syria Envoy

RIA Novosti

14:57 24/02/2012 MOSCOW, February 24 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow supports the appointment of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan as the UN and Arab League envoy for the crisis in Syria , Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Friday.

“We expect that the activity of this authoritative politician will contribute to solving the pressing political and humanitarian issues in Syria on the basis of work with all parties in the interest of peace through inclusive political dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition,” Lukashevich said in a statement. “Russia is ready for close cooperation with him in the search for mutually acceptable solutions to these issues,” the spokesman added.

The United Nations and the Arab League have appointed Kofi Annan as their Joint Special Envoy to deal with the crisis in Syria, the UN reported on its website.

In a joint statement, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Arab League Secretary General Nabil El-Araby said Annan will serve as their high-level representative on the crisis in Syria, and will be supported by an Arab deputy, to be chosen later.

“The Special Envoy will provide good offices aimed at bringing an end to all violence and human rights violations, and promoting a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis,” the statement said.

“He will consult broadly and engage with all relevant interlocutors within and outside Syria in order to end the violence and the humanitarian crisis, and facilitate a peaceful Syrian-led and inclusive political solution that meets the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people,” it said.

The solution will be possible “through a comprehensive political dialogue between the Syrian government and the whole spectrum of the Syrian opposition,” the statement said.

Syria has been the scene of continuous anti-government protests for nearly a year. According to the UN, more than 5,400 people have died in the unrest. The Syrian authorities said that over 2,000 military and law enforcement officials were killed in clashes with well-armed militants.

In early February, Russia and China blocked a UN Security Council resolution on Syria that could lead to a military operation against Syrian government forces to prevent the repetition of “the Libyan scenario.”

In Libya, rebels ousted and killed long-standing dictator Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011 after a months-long military standoff in which they received assistance from NATO forces.



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