Syria is frustrating, Russian envoy says

MOSCOW, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- The Kremlin hasn't seen any indication that a negotiated settlement is possible for the ongoing conflict in Syria, an adviser to the Russian president said.

Syrian officials accused the Arab League of meddling in its internal affairs following a weekend assessment from a monitoring group in the country. The Arab League called on Syrian President Bashar Assad to step aside and members told CNN they'd suspend their efforts in Syria unless Damascus agrees by Thursday to an extension of the monitoring mission.


Mikhail Margelov, a special envoy on regional affairs to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, told Bloomberg News the Kremlin was losing patience.

"We don't see any willingness, either from the authorities or the protesters, to reach an agreement," he said.

Moscow has blocked measures condemning Syria at the U.N. Security Council, complaining draft resolutions presented so far lacked balance.

Moscow maintains a military trade relationship with Damascus. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem added in a public address Tuesday that he felt Moscow wouldn't approve of foreign interference in Syria's national affairs.

Damascus claims its dealing with an armed insurgency, accusing outsiders of fomenting the unrest. The United Nations estimates at least 5,000 people were killed by Syrian security forces since an uprising against Assad's government began mid-March.


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