Canada pushes Russia to help end violence in Syria, coax Assad from power - InfoNews

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Canada pushes Russia to help end violence in Syria, coax Assad from power

Free Syrian Army fighters check the ID of a motorist at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, June 12, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP
June 12, 2012 - 4:02 PM

OTTAWA - Canada is pushing Russia to do more to end the killing in blood-soaked Syria, including raising the issue recently during a major trade mission to the country.

And just like the United States, which is leading the international lobbying of Syria's good friend and arms supplier, Canada's entreaties are being rebuffed by the Russians.

International Trade Minister Ed Fast raised Syria as he led a five-day junket to Russia last week with nearly 30 Canadian companies in tow.

Fast mingled trade with human rights as he pressed the case for Russia to help in the peaceful, negotiated removal of President Bashar Assad.

Officials say Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is also planning a telephone call to his counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, following his meeting last week with Russia's ambassador to Canada.

For their part, the Russians say Assad and his family control virtually every aspect of the Syrian government, and if they leave, chaos would ensue.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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