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Russia's foreign minister has made it clear that Moscow would not support a plan to send United Nations peacekeepers to Syria unless there was a halt to violence by both government forces and their armed opponents. Serei Lavrov said on Monday that Russia was studying the proposal for a joint UN-Arab peacekeeping force in Syria, announced on Sunday at an Arab League meeting in Cairo, and wanted more details. But his remarks suggested his country, which has veto power at the UN Security Council, would use the proposal tounderscore its own argument that the government's armed opponents are no less of an obstacle to peace than SyrianPresident Bashar al-Assad's forces. UN peacekeeping missions "need to first have a peace to support," Lavrov told a news conference after talks with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister. "In other words, it is necessary to agree to something like a ceasefire, but the tragedy is that the armed groups that areconfronting the forces of the regime are not subordinate to anyone and are not under control," Lavrov said in Moscow.
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