Monday 11 June 2012

Russia releases text for proposed Syria conference

Following Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov’s press conference in Moscow on Saturday, the Russian Federation issued the following “non-paper” (or discussion text) to formalize its proposal for an international conference on Syria:
Being guided by its consistent policy aimed at reaching political and diplomatic settlement of the Syrian crisis and in support of the joint special envoy for the United Nations and the League of Arab States on Syria, Kofi Annan's Peace Plan, the Russian Federation is putting forward an initiative to convene an international conference on Syria.
(1) Purpose of conference: To negotiate practical steps aimed at finding a durable political solution to the Syrian crisis. Encourage key external players who may exert real influence on various Syrian parties, to take coherent measures in support of Kofi Annan's Peace Plan and to ensure full implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 2042 and 2043, in which the Security Council endorsed the Plan and authorized the deployment of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria.
(2) Suggested participants in the conference: China, France. Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran, LAS (League of Arab States), OIC (Organization of Islamic Countries), EU, UN. 
(3) Level of the conference: Foreign ministers, heads of regional organizations, with possible preparatory meetings of experts.
(4) Expected outcome: All conference participants undertake to exert all their influence on the Syrian parties in order to immediately stop the armed conflict and fully comply with their obligations under Kofi Annan’s Plan and UN Security Council Resolutions 2042 and 2043.
They further undertake to give up any rhetoric which contradicts the letter and the spirit of Kofi Annan's Plan, particularly with respect to ending all violence in all its forms by all parties and creating a favorable environment for starting a political dialogue between the Syrian government and opposition groups aimed at negotiating every aspect of the Syrian political system. The problems faced by Syria should be dealt with on the basis of agreements between the Syrians themselves.
All participants undertake to provide their practical support to Kofi Annan in his efforts to consolidate the opposition on a common platform of readiness to such a dialogue.
All participants undertake to support the UN Supervision Mission in Syria and to block any attempts to question its mandate.
All participants undertake to refrain from putting any limitations, other than for security reasons, on the activities of mass media focused on the situation in Syria.
(5) At first stage, the suggested conference should consolidate the potential of external players for the sake of the settlement of the Syrian crisis. In case of success, further meetings of the conference will he held in order to negotiate various aspects of the settlement in a more substantive way. At further stages the Syrian parties, including the government and the opposition, united on a common platform of readiness to a political dialogue, might join the conference.
The suggested conference aimed at supporting the implementation of Kofi Annan’s Plan and UN Security Council Resolutions 2042 and 2043 -- that should be the only possible format for negotiating a coherent policy of external players with regard to the Syrian settlement.
(6) Venue of the conference: Moscow or Geneva.
The Russian Federation wishes to convene the conference at the earliest possible date.