Sun, Jun 09, 2013 - Page 6 News List

UN in record Syria aid appeal as conflict deepens

AFP, DAMASCUS

“We appreciate the consideration that Russia has given to provide troops on the Golan. However, the disengagement agreement and its protocol between Syria and Israel does not allow for the participation of permanent members of the security council in UNDOF,” Nesirky told reporters.

Russia, insisting that the UN peacekeeping force is now in “dire straits,” called on the UN to reconsider.

“Times have changed” since the Cold War-era agreement, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin told reporters as he entered emergency UN Security Council talks on the UN force.

Any deployment of Russian troops would be deeply unpopular with the Syrian rebels, who have been angered by Moscow’s steadfast support for its ally Damascus.

The Security Council is due to renew the UNDOF mission for another year this month and British Ambassador to the UN Mark Lyall Grant said its mandate could be strengthened to help the very lightly armed troops defend themselves.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Lebanon, the army warned that a plot was being hatched to embroil Lebanon in the Syrian conflict, as fresh clashes linked to Syria in the northern port of Tripoli killed one person.

Two journalists working for a French radio channel have gone missing in Syria, their employer Europe 1 said.

However, an Austrian man with dual Syrian citizenship arrested by Syrian intelligence in December last year while distributing aid has been freed and is on his way back to Austria, his family said.

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