Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem says Damascus has already withdrawn its troops from several Syrian cities and begun implementing UN-brokered cease-fire plan.
“We have already withdrawn forces and army units from several Syrian provinces,” said Muallem in a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Tuesday.
The top Syrian diplomat reiterated that the United Nations cease-fire plan for the country must start simultaneously with the deployment of the international observers to the volatile state.
As part of a six-point peace initiative proposed by the joint UN and Arab League special envoy, Kofi Annan, UN plans to deploy 200-250 unarmed observers. The plan also calls on Syrian armed forces to withdraw from protest centers on Tuesday, with a complete end to fighting set for 48 hours later. It also calls on armed groups to follow the government’s lead.
The Russian foreign minister, for his part, urged the armed opposition groups and their supporters to bring about the cease-fire. He also urged the Syrian government to be more decisive in fulfilling the plan offered by Annan.
“We would like to call on all opposition leaders and all countries that have influence on the political and military opposition to use their influence to bring about an immediate cease-fire as is provided by Kofi Annan’s plan,” Lavrov said.
The Russian top diplomat also expressed Moscow’s readiness to send its own observers to Syria to assist the UN mission.
“The key issue for the success of the special emissary of the United Nations Kofi Annan in Syria is the dispatch of international observers,” Lavrov went on to say.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011 and many people, including security forces, have lost their lives in the violence, according to press TV.
The West and the Syrian opposition accuse the government of killing the protesters. But Damascus blames outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups for the unrest, stating that it is being orchestrated from abroad.