July 24, 2012 - 15:52 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - British Prime Minister David Cameron aims to use a proposed visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to the judo event at the London Olympics to discuss the worsening conflict in Syria, Bloomberg reported citing two people familiar with the UK premier’s plans.
The UK government is urging Putin, an ally of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, to help secure a peaceful resolution to the fighting between the government and opposition forces. The conflict, which began in March 2011 as a largely peaceful protest movement, has cost more than 19,000 lives, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Russia used its United Nations Security Council veto for a third time last week to protect Assad from censure. China also blocked the resolution threatening sanctions on the Syrian regime unless Assad complied with a UN peace plan he has so far flouted. Putin said yesterday any overthrowing of Assad would push Syria into civil war.
Putin, who holds a black belt in judo, said last month he planned to visit the London games in a private capacity to watch the sport. He has yet to confirm the visit, according to one of the people familiar with the British premier’s plans, who declined to be identified because the meeting hasn’t yet been officially announced.
Details of Putin’s “brief visit” to London are still being finalized, Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said by phone from the Black Sea resort of Sochi. The Olympic judo events start on July 28 and run through Aug 3.