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Syria: UN approves extension of observers’ mission

The UN Security Council unanimously approved the extension of the observers mission in Syria by 30 days, after Thursday’s veto by Russia and China on a resolution presented by the Western countries in which sanctions were threatened against the regime in the case of failure to respect the Annan plan.

Instead, the approved resolution calls for a 30-day extension of the UNSMIS mission, taking into account UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s suggestions that the mission be reconfigured in response to increasingly dangerous operational implications.

The mandate will only be further renewed if Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council are able to confirm cessation of the use of heavily weaponry and attenuation of the violence such that the UNSMIS members are able to do their work. The 15-member Council are urging all parties in Syria, and first and foremost the Damascus authorities, to ensure the safety of the UN observers in addition to their freedom of access and movement.

Terzi- Sieda (CNS): urgent meeting of the “Friends of Syria” needed

The Syrian crisis was also the central focus of Minister Terzi’s meeting with Syrian National Council President Abdulbaset Sieda on Thursday at the foreign ministry in Rome. At the news of the Russian/Chinese veto in the UN, Terzi suggested an urgent meeting of the “Friends of Syria” meeting, to discuss “a political plan for putting more pressure on the regime” and on how “to encourage truly firm support for sorely needed humanitarian initiatives”, the minister explained, recalling that “the aid fund decided in previous meetings is still lacking in reasonable resources”. Sieda also urged intervention by the Friends of Syria, underscoring that the regime “is living out its last days and is crumbling from within”, assuring that “the Syria of the future will not be one of sects, groups or individuals who are afraid”.