Russia to Keep Supporting Syrian Peace Settlement Plan
MOSCOW, May 5 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will keep backing the peaceful settlement plan in Syria, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Lavrov and UN special envoy Kofi Annan had a telephone conversation on the latter’s initiative earlier on Saturday.
“Annan informed Lavrov of his efforts designed to achieve peaceful settlement in Syria,” the statement said. “Annan thanked the Russian side for assistance.”
The ceasefire agreement between the armed Syrian opposition and government troops brokered by Annan was signed on April 12 but has been repeatedly violated since.
Lavrov also said arms smuggling to Syria is inadmissible.
“Arms smuggling to Syria is inadmissible as it destabilizes the situation in the country and region in general,” he said.
Russia supplies Syria with a variety of weapons including anti-ship and air-defense missiles, armored vehicles and aircraft. Russia earlier said that it sold arms to Syria in accordance with existing contracts but that these deliveries were not in contravention of any international agreements.
Annan’s representative said in Geneva on Friday that the ceasefire agreement was producing the desired effect, slowly but surely. He urged patience and said the plan implementation would take time as the crisis in Syria has been going on for over a year now.
More than 9,000 people have been killed in Syria since the outbreak of the popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March, 2011, the UN said.
Moscow has twice vetoed UN Security Council resolutions over what it called a pro-rebel bias since the start of the uprising against Assad, but has given its full backing to Annan’s peace plan.
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