United Nations: Syria's President Bashar Al Assad has agreed to an April 10 deadline to start implementing a peace plan proposed by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, the envoy told the UN Security Council on Monday.
The partial implementation of his plan would include a full cessation of hostilities within 48 hours of the deadline, diplomats at a closed briefing by Annan told AFP.
Annan appealed to the 15-member council to support the deadline, the diplomats said.
The Syrian government would start by halting the movement of troops into cities, withdraw heavy weapons from cities and start to pull back troops.
Annan also said the Security Council had to start considering the deployment of an observer mission with a broad mandate to monitor events in Syria where the UN says more than 9,000 people have been killed in the past year.
Russia rejects call for Syria peace deadline
Yerevan: Russia on Monday rejected Arab and Western calls for a deadline to be set on the Syrian regime's implementation of a peace plan put forward by international mediator Kofi Annan.
"Ultimatums and artificial deadlines rarely help matters," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said while on a visit to the former Soviet nation of Armenia.
Navy destroyer heading for Syria
Moscow: A Russian navy destroyer will dock at the Syrian port of Tartus in the coming days after setting out on a planned mission to the region, agencies quoted military officials as saying on Monday.
The Smetlivy guided-missile destroyer sailed for the Mediterranean from its Black Sea base of Sevastopol over the weekend and will shortly arrive at the Russian-leased port in Syria, state news agency and other reports said.
The ship will take on new supplies of food and water before conducting planned exercises near Syria's coast, navy officials said.
'Purely technical port call'
"This will be a purely technical port call that is conducted by almost all Russian navy ships conducting exercises in the Mediterranean," a senior source in the Russian navy told Interfax.
The source said the destroyer's crew would not be leaving the ship while it was docked.
Tartus is the only base used by Russia in the Mediterranean.
Russia is a close Syria ally that had for the past years shielded Syrian President Bashar Al Assad from Western criticism for its bloody political crackdown that the United Nations says has killed more than 9,000 people.
A Russian ship reportedly delivered a supply of arms to Damascus through the same port in January.