Moscow Ready to Host International Conference on Syria – Lavrov

Moscow is ready to host an international conference on Syria to discuss peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.

In order to help settle Syria’s ongoing political crisis, Russia has proposed a UN conference that will gather together the countries that have influence on Syria’s disparate forces.

Lavrov has said Russia’s initiative to hold an international conference on Syria should become “the sole format of supporting the efforts of fulfilling resolutions of the UN Security Council, which approved a peace plan by UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.”

Moscow believes an international conference on Syria should be held under the aegis of the United Nations and should bring together the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Syria’s neighbors – Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, and also Qatar and Saudi Arabia, as well as the League of Arab States and the European Union.

In the efforts to settle the Syrian crisis, “the most topical task that remains today is to assist the fulfillment of the plan proposed by UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan and approved by the UN Security Council and remove problems impeding these efforts,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

According to UN estimates, about 10,000 people have been killed in Syria since the beginning of a popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011, which started with peaceful protests but has since grown increasingly militarized.

Annan said on Thursday his six-point peace plan aimed at stopping the violence in Syria is “not being implemented” and warned of an escalating crisis in the country.


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