Moscow against ending observer mission in Syria

Moscow hopes that the UN secretary-general will propose extending the observer mission in Syria, Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said.

"We expect that it will involve a military monitoring component as well," he said after the UN Security Council's closed-door session addressing the situation in Syria.

Western countries insist on wrapping up the mission, which means that they do not need objective information about what is happening in Syria, Churkin said.

If Russia's Western partners "need a face-saving solution", Moscow is prepared to discuss "the possibility of changing the mission's name and formulating other approaches to its functioning, but all of its components should be preserved - both military-monitoring and humanitarian," the Russian diplomat said.

The UN earlier announced Kofi Annan's resignation from the post of UN-Arab League special envoy for Syria.

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