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23:16 GMT +3 hours18 December 2014
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Russia Urges Brahimi to Stick to Syria Peace Plan

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Moscow hopes that Lakhdar Brahimi, the new UN-Arab League representative for Syria, will follow Kofi Annan’s peace plan, the Geneva accords and UN Security Council resolutions, the Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

Moscow hopes that Lakhdar Brahimi, the new UN-Arab League representative for Syria, will follow Kofi Annan’s peace plan, the Geneva accords and UN Security Council resolutions, the Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

Algeria’s former foreign minister Lakhdar Brahimi replaced Kofi Annan as peace envoy to Syria on Friday.

“We act on the assumption that Brahimi will build his activity on the existing ‘roadmap’ for the Syrian settlement,” the ministry said in a statement posted on its website.

“We hope that he will continue contacts with all sides in Syria, encouraging them toward an early end to violence and the start of political dialog on the country’s future.”

The ministry said Russian diplomats are ready for close cooperation with the new envoy.

Moscow has welcomed Brahimi’s appointment and pledged support for him.

“We hope that the activity by this experienced diplomat will expedite the cessation of violence and political settlement in the country,” Russian UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said. “We will give him every assistance.”

Brahimi, 78, formally accepted the post and will resume efforts for a diplomatic solution to Syria's crisis, said Eduardo del Buey, deputy spokesman for Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

Annan, who assumed his post in February and authored a six-point peace plan aimed at ending the Syrian conflict, announced in early August that he would quit by the end of the month citing the deadlock at the UN Security Council over ways to resolve the current political crisis in the country.

Since March 2011, the Syrian conflict has claimed up to 20,000 lives, according to estimates by various Syrian opposition groups. The West is pushing for President Bashar al-Assad’s ouster, while Russia and China are trying to prevent outside interference in Syria saying the Assad regime and the opposition are both to blame for the bloodshed.