Russia to push for Geneva peace deal for Syria at UN

Russia will press the UN Security Council to this month endorse a Syria peace accord that was brokered in Geneva and has since split world powers, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday.

‘There is a plan to hold a special meeting of the UN Security Council with the participation of ministers on the Syrian issue,’ Lavrov said in the Russian city of Vladivostok after meeting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

‘We stressed in a meeting with the US Secretary of State that Russia will push for the Security Council’s approval of the Geneva communique.’

World powers on June 30 had agreed on a Russian-backed transition plan.

The plan, championed by former Syria peace envoy Kofi Annan and supported by the Kremlin, did not make an explicit call for President Bashar Al Assad to quit power.

The West swiftly made clear it saw no role for Assad in a unity government and the plan’s future was put in further peril by the subsequent resignation of Annan, who was later replaced by Lakhdar Brahimi.

But Russia and China insisted the accord made no call on Assad to quit, nor did it explicitly deny him a role in the country’s future. The armed opposition denounced the agreement and fighting has since escalated.

The issue is set to be debated by UN Security Council members on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly in New York later this month.

KT/ AFP