Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Syrian opposition group calls for U.N. peacekeepers - 15th Nov 2011

A leading Syrian opposition group called for the introduction of U.N. peacekeepers in Syria Tuesday after talks with Russian government officials, according to the Russian news agency Interfax.

Syrian National Council chairman Burhan Ghalioun also urged Russia to demand Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's resignation, according to Interfax, after meeting with officials at the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Ghalioun, in a news conference held at Interfax's Moscow office, said that he was not asking for military intervention but rather "blue helmet" peacekeepers from the United Nations.

Russia has not changed its position on Syria's political crisis, Ghalioun said, giving Syria a sense of protection from international criticism, Interfax reported. Russia has previously accused the West of inciting opposition to the Syrian government.

Nonetheless, Ghalioun said both sides saw their talks in Moscow as "very positive," and that they had agreed to continue talking, the news agency said. The opposition group does not intend to talk to al-Assad or his family, however, Ghalioun was quoted as saying.

Russia's foreign ministry said in a statement that it was calling on all Syrian opposition groups to renounce violence and settle the crisis through peaceful dialogue with the Syrian government. Read More