Churkin criticises Assad's plans to recapture territories

Churkin criticises Assad's plans to recapture territories
2 min read
19 February, 2016
Russia's permanent representative to the UN, Vitaly Churkin has criticised Assad's plans to recapture "all Syrian territories" amid ongoing diplomatic talks
Russia is one of the main players involved in the Syrian crisis [Getty]
A Russian UN representative has criticised Assad's comments on his plans to recapture "all of Syrian territories."

Vitaly Churkin urged the Syrian President to "listen to Moscow's" advice on resolving the Syrian crisis stating his comments are "inconsistent with Russia's diplomatic efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis."

This comes as a number of diplomatic efforts attempted to break hostilities between warring parties.

A Kremlin statement confirmed Putin had extended an invitation to a Saudi Arabian monarch in a phone call on Friday.

"The two leaders exchanged congratulations on the occasion of the anniversary of the passage of 90 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, and expressed their mutual intention to continue the development of the Saudi-Russian cooperation on all tracks, and interest in the settlement of the crisis situation in Syria and ensure stability and security in the Middle East and North Africa," read the statement.

However, a UN Special envoy, tasked with seeking a peaceful resolution of the ongoing conflict in Syria said peace talks were unlikely to be held.

"Realistically, I cannot call for a new round of peace talks in Geneva on February 25," said Staffan de Mistura. "We need ten days to prepare but the talks could be successful if relief aid continues and the ceasefire is upheld."

However, Steffan claimed US and Russian officials held talks ahead of a UN meeting in Geneva today to discuss ways to end hostilities between warring parties in Syria.

The unannounced bilateral meeting aims to narrow the gap between the positions of the US and Russia in a bid to establish a common viewpoint.

Syria has witnessed one of the world's worst humanitarian crises when a 2011 uprising against Bashar al-Assad was crushed by the President. International and regional players have been negotiating to find a peaceful solution to the ongoing conflict which has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians and seen military involvement from a number of regional powers and proxies.