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Russia 'can easily' work with all sides over Syria crisis

Russian President Vladimir Putin Credit: Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Moscow can easily work with all sides involved in efforts to resolve the conflict Syria, including the United States and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Russian news agencies have reported.

"Regarding the Syrian crisis, we find it easy to work both with President Assad and the American side. I have recently spoken about this with (US.) President (Barack) Obama, and with our friends from Saudi Arabia, and from other Arab nations", Mr Putin is quoted.

The comments are reported to have been from a new documentary which will be broadcast on Russian television on Sunday.

Philip Hammond welcomes UN Security Council Syria resolution

Philip Hammond welcomed the UN Security Council resolution Credit: PA

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has welcomed the the UN Security Council resolution on a Syria peace plan, calling it a "great step forward".

Syria has for too long been the world’s biggest humanitarian and security crisis.

The international community has now come together to work to end the bloody civil war in Syria and has paved the way for talks amongst the Syrian parties that will see a transition away from the murderous regime of Assad.

This resolution gives us a timetable and a clear way forward. Of course there are many challenges ahead but the world has taken a great step forward to resolving the Syrian crisis.

– Philip Hammond, foreign secretary

Syria unity government talks 'to start in January'

Russia's Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at a joint news conference Credit: Reuters

There must be decisions on what kind of transitional unity government Syria should have within the next month or two, John Kerry, the US secretary of state, has said.

Speaking at a news conference following the passing of the UN resolution on Syria, he said that talks between the Syrian opposition and the administration of Bashar al-Assad aimed at reaching agreement on a unity government for Syria were not likely to start before mid to late January.

Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, who spoke alongside Kerry, said it would be possible to reach an agreement on a unity government within six months.

Iran aligns with Russia in push for Syria deal

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks to members of the UN Security Council Credit: Reuters

Iran has decided to unify its position on Syria with that of Russia in the push for a political deal to end Syria's civil war, according to Iranian officials.

That suggests Iran could ease its opposition to the departure of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as part of any agreement.

Both Russia and Iran have insisted Assad should only step down if he is voted out in an eventual election, but while maintaining its backing for Assad in public, Russia has recently made clear to Western nations that it has no objection to Assad stepping down as part of a peace process, diplomats said.

Reuters quoted one senior Iranian official as saying: "What was agreed was Iran and Russia will pursue one policy which will benefit Tehran, Moscow and Damascus."

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UN Security Council adopts resolution endorsing Syria peace roadmap

The UN Security Council voted unanimously to the draft resolution Credit: RTV

The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a draft resolution endorsing a Syria peace roadmap.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who chaired the vote stated that in approving the resolution the council was "sending a clear message" that "the time is now to stop the killing in Syria and lay the groundwork for government that the long suffering people of that battered land can support".

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon added that as the UN "now stands ready to relaunch intra-Syrian talks" he had already urged pressure be put on Syrian parties to immediately implement the following measures ahead of a resolution being reached:

  • stop the use of indiscriminate weapons against civilians including barrow bombs
  • allow unconditional and unimpeded access for aid convoys
  • halt attacks on medical and educational facilities and lift restrictions on any medical and surgical supplies from humanitarian convoys
  • release all detainees
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon Credit: RTV

UN Security Council members agree draft resolution for Syria peace process

The draft resolution text was agreed by the UN Security Council's five veto powers Credit: Andrew Kelly/ Reuters

Five members of the UN Security Council have agreed the text of a draft resolution that endorses an international roadmap for a Syria peace process to be put in place by early January.

According to Reuters each of the remaining ten members of the council will be phoned and briefed about the details of the draft text.

The draft text reportedly endorses a previously agreed timeline for creating a transitional Syrian government and demands "all parties immediately cease any attacks against civilians and civilian objects".

Refugees 'refused entry to Macedonia due to nationality'

An estimated 1,000 refugees and migrants are stuck on the Greek border with Macedonia after some were refused entry because of their nationality, the United Nations said.

"A new humanitarian situation is developing in Europe that needs urgent attention," Adrian Edwards of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told a news briefing.

Refugees and migrants wait to cross the border from Greece into Macedonia. Credit: Reuters
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