Topic: Protests in Syria
- Syria’s Chemical Declaration ‘Good 1st Step’ – McFaul
- Russia Welcomes Plans by UN Inspectors to Return to Syria – Lavrov
- Russia Urges Syrian Rebels to Destroy Chemical Weapons – Lavrov
- Russia Ready to Help Eliminate Syria’s Chemical Arsenal
MOSCOW, September 24 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s parliament is planning to send a delegation of lawmakers to Syria for talks with their counterparts there, the speaker of the lower house said Tuesday.
“We are preparing to send a group of State Duma deputies for a meeting with our Syrian counterparts,” Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin said at a parliamentary discussion forum on Syria.
He did not elaborate, and it was not immediately clear when the trip could take place or how concrete the plans were.
Russia remains one of the world’s most influential supporters of President Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria, where over two years of fighting between government and opposition forces has claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people, according to UN data.
On September 11, Russia’s State Duma adopted a non-binding document warning against strikes targeting Syria, an option Washington has been considering, albeit with flagging enthusiasm.
In the document, the lawmakers urged the United States and other countries to forgo military intervention in Syria, as it could "place chemical security in the area under threat."
Earlier this month, a group of Duma deputies had planned to travel to Washington to meet with members of the US Congress to discuss Syria, but the US lawmakers reportedly rejected the idea.
On September 14, after marathon diplomatic negotiations, Russia and the US reached an agreement that envisions placing Syria’s chemical weapons under international control and destroying them by mid-2014. The details of that plan are still being ironed out.
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Some people are trying to make the reality in Russia at least a bit more humane. The amnesty should apply not only to persons involved in high-profile cases, but also to individuals who are not as well-known. It is better to set free at least some of the individuals who deserve to be released than no one at all.