Medvedev: An­nan’s mis­sion is Syria’s last chance

The Washington Times Daily - - World -

MOSCOW | Pres­i­dent Dmitry Medvedev told the U.N. and Arab League en­voy to Syria on Sun­day that his mis­sion “may be the last chance for Syria to avoid a pro­tracted bloody civil war” and promised Rus­sia’s full sup­port.

Kofi An­nan was in Moscow for meet­ings with Rus­sia’s pres­i­dent and for­eign min­is­ter. He now trav­els to China, which, along with Rus­sia, has shielded Syr­ian leader Bashar As­sad from U.N. sanc­tions over his crack­down on an up­ris­ing. More than 8,000 peo­ple have been killed since the up­ris­ing be­gan a year ago.

Syria is Moscow’s last re­main­ing ally in the Mid­dle East and is a ma­jor cus­tomer for Rus­sia’s arms in­dus­try. But Moscow re­cently has shown im­pa­tience with Syria, with For­eign Min­is­ter Sergey Lavrov point­edly crit­i­ciz­ing

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