Russia calls for greater UN presence in Syria

Russia calls for greater UN presence in Syria
# 20 April 2018 22:19 (UTC +04:00)

Russia Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday called for a greater UN presence in Syria, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

Speaking at a news conference following his meeting with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura in the capital Moscow, Lavrov said building up UN presence in Syria is important for humanitarian assistance and gathering authentic information.

“We cannot tolerate a situation where UN agencies in their reports and public statements rely on information borrowed from other sources in Syria, not the UN’s own ones," the Russian foreign minister said.

Staffan de Mistura, for his part, stressed the importance of avoiding any military escalation in Syria and the necessity of political process to resolve crisis in the country.

He also said the UN is “doing everything” to accelerate the process of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) mission arrival in Syria’s Douma.

"The UN calls on the OPCW to do what they must do and to do it as soon as possible so that we could turn this page," he said.

The Damascus suburb of Douma was hit by a suspected chemical attack on April 7, which left at least 78 civilians dead, according to Syrian civil defense White Helmets.

On April 10, the OPCW said it would deploy a fact-finding mission team to investigate the suspected chemical gas attack in Syria.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, according to the UN.