December 7, 2011 - 14:56 AMT
Russia offers sending its observers to Syria

Russia proposed on Wednesday, December 7, sending its monitors to Syria as part of international efforts to settle the nine-month old political crisis in the Arab country.

“If it makes sense for our Syrian colleagues,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, “We could consider the broadening of the observer group to involve not only representatives of the Arab League but also those of other countries who are not indifferent to what is happening in Syria and who are sincerely interested in settling the situation.”

“Russia, in particular, could delegate its representatives to such a group,” he added, RIA Novosti reported.

Syria confirmed on Monday that it would allow military and civilian observers into the country as part of an Arab League plan to end months of bloodshed there but attached a number of conditions, including the lifting of economic sanctions imposed by the League.

The League is planning to send some 500 monitors to the country, where more than 4,000 people have been killed over the nine months of unrest, according to UN estimates.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman said earlier this week that the plan was expected to be signed “soon.”