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Wed Jul 11, 2012, 01:28 PM

Russia seeks UN extension of Syria mission

Source: Aljazeera

UN observer mission in Syria was suspended last month because of increased risk of violence

Russia has circulated among United Nations Security Council members a draft resolution to extend a UN mission in Syria for three months.

The deeply divided council must decide the future of the mission, known as UNSMIS, before July 20 when its initial 90-day mandate expires. The Russian proposal, revealed on Wednesday, seeks more time for the mission so it can shift from monitoring a non-existent truce to securing a political solution to the conflict.

The Russian draft resolution does not specify a number but "stresses the need for UNSMIS to have a military observer capability to conduct effective verification and fact-finding tasks".

It also "calls upon all Syrian parties to guarantee the safety of UNSMIS personnel without prejudice to its freedom of
movement and access, and stresses that the primary responsibility in this regard lies with the Syrian authorities".

Read more: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2012/07/201271145917118428.html

While the Russian proposal includes some criticism of the Syrian government ("the primary responsibility in this regard lies with the Syrian authorities", it seems to basically be an extension of the current, largely unsuccessful mission which is already suspended even those its original mandate has not expired.

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