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UN votes to send 300 ceasefire observers to Syria

Damascus, Sun, 22 Apr 2012 ANI

Damascus, Apr 22 (ANI): The United Nations Security Council has unanimously voted to pass a resolution increasing the number of ceasefire observers in Syria from 30 to 300.

The resolution gives UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon authority to decide when to deploy the additional observers, based on developments on the ground including 'the consolidation of the cease-fire.'

Russia, which is regarded as an ally of Damascus, emphasized the need to send more monitors to Syria quickly.

According to Fox News, Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the resolution is 'of fundamental importance to push forward the peace process in Syria' and to support the six-point peace plan negotiated by international envoy Kofi Annan.

Britain's UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant stressed that expanded observer mission and Annan's proposal 'represents the last opportunity to secure a solution to the crisis in Syria.'

According to the report, the resolution establishes a United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria, to be called 'UNSMIS', 'comprising an initial deployment of up to 300 unarmed military observers as well as an appropriate civilian component' for an initial period of 90 days.

Unlike most resolutions that call for reports to the Security Council in 30 days, the resolution adopted on Saturday calls for reports every 15 days.

The preliminary agreement between Syria and the UN on the deployment of observers says they will have freedom to go anywhere in the country by foot or by car, take pictures, and use technical equipment to monitor compliance with the cease-fire engineered by Annan. (ANI)

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