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                                        Volume. 12063

Russia claims UN resolution "absolutely one-sided" as Syria peace talks resume
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_Syria99(6).jpgRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that a draft of a new United Nations humanitarian resolution on Syria was "absolutely one-sided "as talks between Syria's government and opposition resumed on Tuesday.

"The ideas that were shared with us by those initiating this process... are absolutely unacceptable and contain an ultimatum for the government, that if they don't solve all this in two weeks then we automatically introduce sanctions," the Russian foreign minister said in Moscow, according to AFP.

"Instead of engaging in everyday, meticulous work to resolve problems that block deliveries of humanitarian aid, they see a new resolution as some kind of simplistic solution," he said.

UN diplomats have tried to persuade Russia to back a new resolution, drafted by Australia, Jordan and Luxembourg, which "demands that all parties, in particular the Syrian authorities, immediately end the sieges of the Old City of Homs."

But Lavrov said focusing on one city and the government's role was "absolutely one-sided and detached from the facts."

"It's as if there are no witness accounts, even from the humanitarian agencies, that the militant groups are the main impediments to the humanitarian operation in Homs and in delivering humanitarian aid to the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp," he said.

He added that other Syrian cities like Zahra and Al Hasakah also need to be unblocked, and that the UN needed to focus more on the spread of terrorism in the war-torn country.

"It's time for the Security Council to pay attention to an equally frightening aspect of the Syrian crisis, and that is the growth of terrorism due to the conflict."

"It's time not just to react to the singular manifestations of terrorism," he said. "It's time to... speak out in principle about the terrorist threat, to approach this problem systematically."

Syrian foes meet face to face in Geneva

Meanwhile, the Syrian government and the opposition met face to face on Tuesday and observed a minute of silence for people killed in the three year conflict after a first round of talks last month failed to make significant progress, delegates said.

"I hope that the minute of silence will signal an improvement in the atmosphere this time," opposition delegate Ahmed Jakal told Reuters.

He said that international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi proposed that the two sides discuss ending the violence on Tuesday and the formation of a transitional governing body on Wednesday.

The two issues have caused deep rifts between the warring parties and delayed negotiations.

Syrian state news agency SANA said the morning's joint session started with a minute's silence "for the souls of the martyrs of the village of Maan in rural Hama."

The authorities accused Sunni Muslim Islamist fighters of killing 42 people on Sunday in Maan, which is populated by members of President Bashar al-Assad's Alawite sect.
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