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Members of the Security Council today (2 August) showcased their disagreement over the future of the United Nations observer mission in Syria as the chief of UN peacekeeping warned that on the ground, the “spiral of violence is still increasing”.

Upon his return from Syria, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous today briefed the Security Council behind closed doors on the activities of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), which remain limited due to the ongoing violence.

After the meeting Ladsous updated the press on the security situation on the ground. He said the main security concerns had shifted from Damascus to Aleppo. UN observers in Syria were reporting that there was reason to believe that “the main battle” there “is about to start”.

Also speaking to reporters after the Security Council meeting, Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin refuted “some member states’” claims that Russia’s vetoes of stronger Security Council action on Syria was to blame for today’s resignation of the UN-Arab League Joint Special Envoy for Syria, Kofi Annan. Instead he said that “some countries” had supported Annan “in words” but “not in actions”, pointing to France’s recent re-call to Paris of Annan’s deputy, French diplomat Jean-Marie Guehenno.

Churkin said Russia was strongly in favour of extending UNSMIS with a “more than symbolic” role when its current mandate ends on 19 August. He underlined the importance of the “objective information” gathered by UN observers and charged that those against a further extension of UNSMIS are not interested in objective information and “have some other things in mind rather than stopping the violence”.

Ambassador Gérard Araud of France, which holds the rotating presidency of the Council for the month of August and commented earlier today that he expected the UN observer mission in Syria to “just disappear on the 19th of August”, said he believed “all the member states” were ready to consider “any proposals” to be submitted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on a future UN role in Syria.

He went on to point out that the last Security Council resolution extending UNSMIS for a “final” 30-days included a provision to renew the mission if there was a decrease in violence, and called on the Syrian government to stop shelling civilians, which he said could be done easily “in five minutes”.

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Videos Published on Aug 2, 2012 by NizarAbboud

SyrianFreePress.net Network & TG24Siria

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