Middle East

Russia expects Syria envoy to build on Annan plan: ministry

Diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi speaks with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter (not pictured) during a joint news conference in Khartoum in this May 27, 2012 file photo. Veteran Algerian diplomat Brahimi is expected to be named to replace Kofi Annan as the U.N.-Arab League joint special envoy for Syria barring a last-minute change, diplomats said on August 10, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Files (SUDAN - Tags: POLITICS)

MOSCOW: Russia welcomed the new international envoy for the conflict in Syria and said it expected him build on the work of predecessor Kofi Annan, the foreign ministry said in a statement Saturday.

"We proceed on the assumption that Lakhdar Brahimi will base his work on the platform of the existing 'road map' of a Syrian settlement -- Kofi Annan's peace plan and the final communique of the June ministerial meeting of the Action Group on Syria in Geneva and also on the relevant UN security council resolutions," the ministry said.

Russia added it was "ready for close interaction with the new special representative of the United Nations and the Arab League on Syria with the aim of overcoming the crisis in Syria."

It said it counted on Brahimi to "continue contacts with all Syrian sides, inducing them to cease violence as soon as possible and to the start of a political dialogue on the future of the country."

The Kremlin had endorsed Annan's plan and also backed his initiative at a June meeting in Geneva that called for a political transition in Syria while making no explicit call for President Bashar Assad to step down.

Russia along with China has prompted fury from Western nations with three vetoes of UN Security Council resolutions on Syria which condemned Assad's assault on protesters and threatened sanctions.

Russia has accused the United States and its allies of simply seeking to oust the current regime, Moscow's closest Middle East ally, a trading partner and the host of a Russian naval base in the eastern Mediterranean.





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