Russia wants greater UN presence in Syria


MOSCOW, Russia – Building up UN presence in Syria is crucial from the standpoint of gathering authentic information, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after talks with the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura on Friday.

“Generally speaking the question of building up UN presence in Syria deserves attention from various points of view including the collection of authentic information. We cannot tolerate a situation where UN agencies in their reports and public statements rely on information borrowed from other sources in Syria, not the UN’s own ones,” Lavrov said.

“Less than a month has passed since we met here at this table on March 29,” Russia’s top diplomat noted.

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“Today we are meeting in the conditions when the prospects of the quickest start of the dialogue under your aegis in compliance with Resolution 2254 are not as optimistic as they were a month ago. Nevertheless, we should not give up and we will do everything to avoid departure from the key accords,” Lavrov said.

“The main thing is to stay within the framework of international law and we will be seeking that all our partners should follow precisely this course rather than try to play their geopolitical schemes to the detriment of the interests of the Syrian people,” the Russian foreign minister said.

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