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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia Welcomes UN Security Council Statement on Syria

RIA Novosti

15:50 06/04/2012 MOSCOW, April 6 (RIA Novosti) - Russia welcomes the UN Security Council’s statement expressing support for the UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s demand for Damascus to stop military offensives and begin a troop pullout from cities and towns by April 10, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

The UN Security Council issued a presidential statement on Thursday backing Annan’s efforts and demanding that the Syrian government “implement urgently and visibly its commitments… to cease troop movements towards population centers, cease all use of heavy weapons in such centers, and begin a pullback of military concentrations in and around population centers… no later than 10 April 2012.”

The statement also called on all parties involved in the conflict to “cease armed violence in all its forms within 48 hours” after the April 10 deadline.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement the implementation of Kofi Annan’s proposals “opens a real opportunity… for launching a full-fledged dialogue in Syria and returning the situation into a peaceful stream,” on condition of “constructive cooperation between all sides involved in the conflict.”

Annan told the Security Council on Monday that the Syrian authorities had accepted the April 10 deadline. However, Western diplomats and officials, as well as some Russian analysts, have been skeptical about President Bashar al-Assad’s intentions, saying he was playing for time and could fail to comply with the peace plan to end the violence that has claimed more than 9,000 lives, according to UN estimates.

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