Russia calls for continuing Syria talks after Brahimi

Russia calls for continuing Syria talks after Brahimi
Thu May 15, 2014 09:31:58

Russia's deputy foreign minister has said the resignation of international peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi must not disrupt diplomatic efforts to resolve the Syrian conflict.

Brahimi will step down at the end of this month after two rounds of negotiations between the Syrian government and the foreign-backed militants which failed to break a deadlock.

“Russia assumes that the future successor to Brahimi... will safeguard continuity after his departure,” Russian news agency Itar-Tass quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov as saying on Wednesday.

“We believe there should be no artificial pause in the political process, the positive dynamics accumulated during previous rounds [of talks] must be safeguarded.”

Russia helped ensure the Syrian government's participation at the peace talks in Geneva and has also blocked Western efforts at the UN Security Council to put pressure on Damascus.

“The most important thing is that the Syrian government is ready to continue the dialogue. We encourage and support Damascus in that,” Gatilov said.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, Western powers and their regional allies - especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey - are supporting the militants operating inside the country.

More than 150,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced due to the turmoil that has gripped Syria for over three years.


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