Russia’s UN Envoy Blasts Friends of Syria Group’s Activities

The U.S.-led Friends of Syria group is unlikely to provide for the soonest resolution of the situation in Syria as it pursues the only goal of forcing President Bashar al-Assad to step down, Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said on Saturday.

In line with French President Francois Hollande’s proposal,members of the Friends of Syria group decided to discuss ways of resolving the ongoing conflict in Syria on July 6.

“Firstly, we must not wait until July 6; secondly, we [Russia] believe that the Friends of Syria is detrimental as on the whole its activities are directed at finding various loops to overthrow the current authorities in Syria, instead of scrupulously implementing Kofi Annan’s plan,” Churkin said in an interview with Rossiya TV channel.

UN special envoy Kofi Annan said on Thursday his six-point peace plan aimed at stopping the violence in Syria is “not being implemented.” The presence of a group of UN observers also had little impact on the situation. Annan warned of an escalating crisis and laid responsibility for the atrocities on al-Assad’s regime.

Churkin added that “there are no simple recipes” for the solution of the situation in Syria, which is already on the brink of a civil war.

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

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


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