Russia Willing to Back Annan Plan for Syria

Posted March 20th, 2012 at 5:30 am (UTC-5)
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( Title: SYRIA, 1st UPD – V

HEAD: Russia Willing to Back Annan Plan for Syria

DATE: 03/20/12

PUBLISHED AT: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 6:26:18 AM

NUMBER: 2190769

AUDIO: Dalet 5.1/House Shared Tuesday/CN SYRIA BAN

VIDEO: APTN attached below, shotlist in asset manager



Russia says it would support a United Nations Security Council resolution backing envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan on Syria.

But Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday the Security Council should consider the proposals as a basis for Annan's continued work for settling the crisis, and not as an ultimatum.

The Security Council meets later Tuesday in New York to debate a French draft statement that calls for possible “further measures” if the Syrian government does not accept the former U.N. chief's plan. Annan is calling for a cease-fire and talks between Syrian rebels and the government.

China and Russia have twice vetoed earlier Security Council proposals on Syria, saying they amounted to interference in the country's internal affairs.

Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says the situation in Syria has become “unacceptable” and “intolerable.”

Speaking to a group of peacekeepers in Indonesia Tuesday, Mr. Ban called on the Security Council to unite on Syria.

“We have no time to waste, no time to lose. Just one minute or one hour of delay will mean that more and more people death. This is our, moral and critical responsibility for the international community. As the secretary-general of the United Nations, this is a top, most important at this time.”

The United Nations says at least 8,000 people have been killed in the Assad government's violent crackdown on the revolt. The year-old uprising began with peaceful protests and became increasingly militarized as army defectors attacked pro-Assad troops who assaulted civilians.

New York-based Human Rights Watch issued a public letter to the Syrian National Council and other opposition groups Monday, saying armed opposition members have committed serious abuses. The group said the abuses included the kidnapping, detention and torture of government supporters, and members of both pro-government militias and government security forces.

It called on the opposition to condemn such acts and “forbid their members from carrying out abuses.”