02:53 GMT +325 March 2019
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    Syria thanks Russia for stance on mooted UN Security Council resolution

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    Damascus highly values Moscow's position against UN Security Council's possible adoption of a resolution on Syria similar to the one passed against Libya, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Mualem said on Wednesday.

    Damascus highly values Moscow's position against UN Security Council's possible adoption of a resolution on Syria similar to the one passed against Libya, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Mualem said on Wednesday.

    France and Germany said last week they would bring a resolution condemning Syria to a vote at the UN Security Council. Russia has said it may veto the resolution.

    "We are grateful to Russia, China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Lebanon for their position," al-Mualem said at a news conference.

    He said the Syrian authorities understand how difficult it is for these countries to maintain this position as they are under pressure from the West.

    "Many of our friends are under pressure including on issues that are of their interest, but nevertheless they hold an objective stance. We value this highly," the minister added.

    Russia has called for a diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis, saying that the situation in Syria does not present a threat to international peace and security and that the Syrians themselves should resolve the violent confrontation without any outside influence.

    However, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that international political pressure needs to be put on Syrian authorities to end the bloodshed and solve the country's internal problems.

    He also said that Moscow does not have a special relationship with Syria adding "that used to be the case in the Soviet days, but not now."

    Syrian rights organizations have estimated that some 1,300 people have been killed and more than 10,000 arrested in Syria since protests demanding the end of President Bashar al-Assad's authoritarian rule broke out in the country in mid-March. Foreign journalists are banned from entering the country which makes it difficult to verify the figures.

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