Don’t give up on diplomacy to end Syrian crisis, Baird says

OTTAWA – Canada isn’t giving up hope of a diplomatic settlement to end the violence in Syria.

As he heads to New York today and a speech to the United Nations, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says the world must continue trying for a diplomatic end to the civil war in Syria.

Baird told CTV’s Question Period that he and Prime Minister Harper have been speaking with their Russian counterparts about having the UN Security Council get involved.

Russia has faced criticism for thwarting efforts to halt the violence in Syria by using its veto at the Security Council to quash resolutions against the Assad regime.

But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov insists that it’s the West that’s standing in the way of concerted international action by failing to implement an earlier agreement on the conflict.

Canada has committed to provide $12 million to help Syrian civilians, many thousands of whom have flocked across Syria’s borders to live as refugees in neighbouring countries.

It’s estimated that as many as 700,000 could flee Syria by the end of this year.




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