British Foreign Secretary William Hague is heading to the Russian capital on a working visit on Sunday to discuss the situation around Syria, Hague said.
“In Moscow tomorrow. Will call on Russia to support rapid and unequivocal pressure on [the President Bashar] Assad regime and accountability for crimes,” Hague wrote in his Twitter microblog late on Saturday.
According to unconfirmed reports by Syrian activists, more than 12,600 people have been killed in Syria since a revolt against Assad’s regime started in March last year. The UN says up to 10,000 have been killed.
A fragile ceasefire is currently effective in the country. Although Russia and China earlier blocked two tough Syria resolutions in the UN Security Council over fears that the Libyan scenario might repeat, the two veto-wielding countries support UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s peace mission.
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.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said shortly before Hague’s visit that the British foreign secretary will meet with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to discuss the entire agenda of bilateral relations, including political dialogue, trade, economic and investment cooperation as well as other issues.
The international talks agenda will include Iran’s nuclear program, the situation in Afghanistan and the European missile defense.
Hague last visited Moscow in October 2010.