UN Must Resume Syria Talks on Cease-Fire Monitors, Russia Says

The United Nations should immediately resume talks with Syria on a monitoring mission to ensure that a cease-fire agreement is respected, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.

The decision to recall UN negotiators has delayed the deployment of monitors and is hindering the work of envoy Kofi Annan, the Moscow-based ministry said today on its website.

“Talks with the Syrian government were halted by the UN at the very moment when they were starting to progress,” the ministry said. “The negotiations between the UN and Syrian authorities should be resumed immediately, and a technical group should be sent to Syria to conclude that process.”

The UN Security Council plans to vote today on whether to send as many as 30 observers. Russia, which has vetoed two draft resolutions that would have held Syrian President Bashar al-Assad responsible, said in the statement that all sides in the conflict should observe a cease-fire, following attacks yesterday on Syrian troops in Hama and other cities.

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