Plans for Syria contact group meeting in the works

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Ambassador Vitaly Churkin of the Russian Federation

As the violence in Syria continues, details of the contact group meeting that the UN-Arab League Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan wants to hold are still being worked out.

On Tuesday, the UN Security Council got a closed door briefing from the head of UN peacekeeping Herve Ladsous and the Deputy Joint Special Envoy for Syria, Nasser al-Kidwa, about the recent efforts by Mr. Annan and his team.

Ambassador Vitaly Churkin of the Russian Federation said the assessment about the situation in Syria was "extremely grim". He also said Russia's foreign minister is prepared to go to that contact group meeting.

"Some colleagues from the Council whose ministers are supposed to be there were saying that they were not yet prepared to say that they are going to participate because they believe that there must be more clarity about the outcome. I think this is playing it too hard to get I mean we need to show our support for Kofi Annan in practical terms as well. He made it clear that he wants to have that meeting of action group in Geneva on Saturday June 30. My minister is going to be there.”

Ambassador Churkin says the Russian federation agrees with Mr. Annan that Iran should be included in the Syria contact group meeting.

Duration:  26″

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