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Published: Thursday February 13, 2014 MYT 7:30:02 PM
Updated: Thursday February 13, 2014 MYT 7:30:02 PM

Russia presents draft U.N. resolutions on 'terrorism', aid in Syria

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia has presented draft U.N. Security Council resolutions on humanitarian aid access and the fight against "terrorism" in Syria, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

Moscow's calls for a resolution condemning acts of "terrorism" are in tune with rhetoric from Damascus, which uses the term to describe all those fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

"Terrorism is certainly no less acute a problem (than the humanitarian crisis)," Lavrov told a news conference after talks with his Egyptian counterpart, saying it causes suffering among Syrians and in neighbouring countries.

Moscow earlier this week made clear it would reject a Western-Arab draft resolution on humanitarian aid access in Syria in its existing form, saying it was biased against the government of Assad.

Lavrov said Russia's own draft on aid access set out "our vision of the role the Security Council can play if we want to foster a solution to the problems and not antagonise one side or the other".

Russia is a long-standing arms supplier to Syria and has been Assad's most powerful international protector during the three-year-old civil conflict, joining China in blocking three Western-backed resolutions aimed to put pressure on Damascus.

(Reporting by Thomas Grove and Steve Gutterman, writing by Gabriela Baczynska, editing by Elizabeth Piper)

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