UN Security Council to meet on Syria crisis at 2000 GMT: diplomats

19th February 2016, Comments 0 comments

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Friday at Russia's request to discuss the crisis in Syria, diplomats said.

The meeting scheduled for 2000 GMT was called to address Turkey's proposal for ground forces to be deployed in Syria, the Russian foreign ministry said in Moscow.

"Russia intends to convene a UN Security Council meeting today to discuss this issue and to introduce a draft resolution calling for a halt to any actions that would undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria," said a foreign ministry statement released in Moscow.

Turkey has called for a joint ground operation in Syria with its international allies, insisting that such an intervention was the only way to stop the country's five-year war.

A senior Turkish official said on Tuesday that Ankara wanted such a joint operation to be carried but emphasized there were no plans to act unilaterally.

Saudi Arabia, which along with Turkey is backing rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces, has also said it would be ready to take part in an international force to be deployed in Syria.

Russia, which is waging an air war in Syria to back up Assad's forces, has called on the Security Council to press Turkey to halt its shelling of Kurdish forces in northern Syria.

US and Russian officials met Friday in Geneva to discuss proposals for an elusive ceasefire and the UN envoy said a new round of peace talks scheduled for February 25 was unlikely.

© 2016 AFP

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