Russia urges Syria to step up peace plan moves

MOSCOW - Russia urged the Syrian government on Tuesday to act "more decisively" to implement international envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan but also said foreign states should use their influence on opposition groups to press for an immediate ceasefire.
"We told our Syrian colleague ... we think their actions could be more active, more decisive in regard to the fulfillment of the points of the plan," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a joint briefing after talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mouallem.
Lavrov said Mouallem told him the government had begun implementing requirements regarding "the use of weapons" in Syrian cities and towns but did not specifically mention a withdrawal, which must begin on Tuesday under Annan's plan.
He said Syrian opposition groups must also be committed to Annan's plan and called on foreign states with influence on them to use it to promote an immediate ceasefire.