Russia refuses to attend Syria meeting

By REUTERS
February 21, 2012 11:13

MOSCOW - Russia will not attend an international meeting on the conflict in Syria this week because the Syrian government will not be represented, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

The Friends of Syria, backed by Western powers and the Arab League, will meet in Tunis on Friday to seek an international agreement on how to end the violence in Syria and is expected to put pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down.

The Russian Foreign Ministry regretted that the only Syrian representatives would be from the opposition, and suggested that the United Nations Security Council should send a special humanitarian envoy to Syria.

"Thus, the meeting can hardly help start all-Syrian national dialogue in a search for ways to combat the internal crisis," ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement.


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