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Russian Resolution Focuses on Fighting Terror in Syria – Minister

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Russia’s new UN Security Council draft resolution on the crisis in Syria is centered around anti-terrorism efforts, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

MOSCOW, February 13 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s new UN Security Council draft resolution on the crisis in Syria is centered around anti-terrorism efforts, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

“We have introduced to the UN Security Council … a draft document on anti-terrorism efforts in Syria,” said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

“This document is based on fundamental principles approved by the UN and other [international] bodies, and reflects the call from G8 leaders to the Syrian opposition and government to unite and eradicate terrorism in Syria,” he said.

Lavrov accused Western countries of focusing “only on the task of creating a transitional government” to the detriment of other important provisions of the June 2013 Geneva Communique on Syria, such as “anti-terrorism, an end to violence and local ceasefires to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid.”

The Russian resolution was written as an alternative to a proposal jointly submitted to the UN by Australia, Luxembourg and Jordan last week.

That resolution, supported by the UK, US and France, would have imposed sanctions on Syria if it did not comply with certain demands on supplying humanitarian aid within 15 days.

Russia denounced the text as a non-starter, calling it unacceptable and saying it contained one-sided accusations against the Syrian government.

US President Barack Obama slammed Russia’s recalcitrance in response, accusing it of indifference to Syrian citizens.

Russia has vetoed three Security Council resolutions that would have imposed sanctions on the Syrian government since fighting broke out there nearly three years ago.

Both sides in Syria’s civil war have accused the other of hampering international efforts to deliver aid to civilians, including in the besieged city of Homs.

UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who brought the Syrian government and opposition together for the second round of direct negotiations this week, met Thursday with Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov and US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.

Brahimi said after the meeting that Russia and the United States had confirmed their readiness to help remove obstacles obstructing progress in the Syrian peace talks.

Updates with Brahimi meeting Russian and US officials.

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