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Syrian opposition to visit Moscow

France,Diplomacy, Thu, 05 Apr 2012 IANS

Moscow, April 5 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Envoys of Syria's opposition will visit Moscow for talks April 17-18, the Russian foreign ministry said.


"On April 17-18, contacts with Syrian opposition envoys will be held in Moscow," the ministry said on its official Twitter page.


The ministry also said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Mualem April 10.


Over 9,000 people have died in the year-long conflict between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government and the opposition, according to latest UN estimates.


According to Western media reports, members of the UN Security Council have started discussions on a draft resolution demanding the Syrian government end hostilities by the previously agreed deadline of April 10. The opposition must join the ceasefire within the following 48 hours.


The draft resolution also demands the Syrian leadership to comply with all provisions of a plan by UN special envoy Kofi Annan.


Annan has proposed a six-point plan that includes implementing UN-supervised ceasefire, ensuring nationwide access to humanitarian aid in Syria, releasing political prisoners, upholding freedoms of movement and association and advancing political process in the country. The plan was backed by Damascus.


The UN Security Council has declared its unanimous support for the plan.


Western powers have called on al-Assad to step down, but the demand was not included in Annan's plan.


--IANS/RIA Novosti




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