U.S. Looks Forward for Annan’s Talks on Syria with Putin

UN’s special envoy on Syria, Kofi Annan, should first hold his meetings in Moscow and only then conclusions could be made, Patrick Ventrell, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of State, said.

Annan, who arrived in Moscow on Monday, is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday to discuss the Syrian conflict resolution.

“I can tell you that we’re continuing to work in New York intensively with our partners, but again, let’s let the Joint Special Envoy go out to Moscow, have his meetings, and then hear back from him about further details,” Ventrell told a daily press briefing.

The official said that before meeting with the Russian president, Annan held telephone consultations with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

When asked about Russia’s stance on the Syrian developments voiced by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday, Ventrell only reiterated the U.S. view on the situation in the country.

“We think that the Assad regime is losing control and that he continues to take his country toward a dangerous end. And our opinion is that this crackdown is not going to stop the revolution. Protests continue across the country, and the opposition is gaining strength,” he said.

Minister Lavrov said on Monday that Russia sees “elements of blackmail” in the West’s linking of new sanctions against Syria with the extension of the international observer mission there.

On Wednesday, Britain, France and Germany presented the UN Security Council with a draft resolution which coordinated an extension of the UN Observer mission in Syria with the fulfillment by the Syrian government of a series of demands within ten days, including an end to use of heavy weapons.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last week that both Russia and China would “pay a price” for what she said was their support for Assad. Western powers have repeatedly accused both countries of protecting the embattled Syria leader.

 

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