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Russia may consider joining peacekeeping mission to Syria: diplomat

(Xinhua)

09:47, February 14, 2012

MOSCOW, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- Russia does not rule out its participation in a possible Arab-UN peacekeeping mission in Syria, if the operation complies with the UN Charter and is agreed by the Syrian government, said Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov Monday.

"The deployment of such a mission should be negotiated with the Syrian government. This raises the question of its composition, tasks and mandate," Bogdanov told Echo Moscow radio station.

"If we agree to the terms of its deployment, if the principles based on the UN Charter and international relations are observed, we will see no problem there," the diplomat said.

He added Moscow is holding consultations on the Syrian issue with all its partners, but Russia is not ready to attend a meeting of "Friends of Syria" set for next week in Tunis.

"The impression so far is that this meeting is only for the ' supporters of a part of the Syrian opposition'," he said.

On Sunday, the Arab League countries proposed to send a joint peacekeeping force into Syria. Damascus has rejected this mission.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier on Monday that Russia may study the proposal but a ceasefire must be achieved before the deployment.

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