Russia urges Syria to support envoy Annan's efforts

March 17, 2012 21:34

MOSCOW - Russia's foreign minister urged Syria to support UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan's peacemaking efforts "without delay" in comments published on Saturday, adopting an unusually firm tone with the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Russia disagrees with many of the decisions Assad's government has made in a year of bloodshed, Sergei Lavrov told state television in an interview, according to a transcript posted on the Russian Foreign Ministry website.

Lavrov's comments did not signal a shift in Russia's stance, but suggested Moscow wants the world to know it is motivated by the urgent need to end the violence in Syria rather than by the desire to prop up a longtime ally.

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