Moscow urges swift UN resolution on Syrian observers

By RIA Novosti Updated at 2012-04-14 05:39:58 +0000

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Russia is calling on the UN Security Council to adopt a swift resolution on the urgent sending of UN observers to Syria to ensure a ceasefire in the country torn by civil unrest, Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said on Friday, RIA Novosti reported.

"The urgent sending of UN observers to Syria is vital for the ceasefire in Syria," Gatilov said in his Twitter blog.

"A swift UN Security Council's resolution is required to jumpstart the process. Russia has proposed elements to this decision," he said.

Britain, the United States, France, Germany, Portugal, Colombia and Morocco submitted a revised draft resolution on sending UN observers to Syria. The Security Council is expected to vote on the draft document later in the day.

However, Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters the text was more complicated than he expected and could require prolonged discussions while Moscow wanted to act quickly to authorize an advance team of up to 30 unarmed military observers to enter Syria.

The observer mission is part of a six-point plan to resolve the current political crisis in Syria, proposed by UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan and approved by the UN Security Council.

The plan includes a pullback of troops from the cities, a halt to fighting, the release of unjustly arrested people, and respect for the people's right to peaceful protest and for press freedom.

Some 9,000 people have been killed in clashes between the government and the opposition in Syria since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011, according to UN estimates.