By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
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Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Russia and the United Nations called Thursday for the resuscitation of a peace initiative for Syria that never got off the ground when it was proposed months ago because both parties to the conflict rejected it.
Russia's attempt to backpedal after a top diplomat said Syrian President Bashar Assad is losing control of his country reflects the dilemma Moscow faces as opposition fighters gain ground.
A plane intercepted by Turkish fighter jets on its way from Moscow to Damascus, Syria, was carrying equipment and ammunition destined for the Syrian Defense Ministry, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday.
Russia on Wednesday explained its decision to put an end to the U.S. Agency for International Development's two decades of work in Russia by saying the U.S. government agency was using its money to influence elections.
Members of the U.N.'s top human rights body have voted to condemn Syria over the killing of more than 100 civilians last week.
Food and water are running dangerously low in the besieged Syrian city of Homs, with frantic cries for help from residents amid government shelling that pounded rebel strongholds and killed at least 30 people Tuesday, activists said.
Syrian government troops heavily shelled rebellious districts in the resistance stronghold of Homs Tuesday, killing at least 16 people and compounding fears of a new round of bloody urban combat in a country careening toward all-out civil war.
Russia supports Canada's decision to pull out of the Kyoto Protocol, says its foreign ministry, reaffirming Friday that Moscow will not take on new commitments.
In Moscow, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Russia, too, is trying to revive the Geneva plan.
"We continue to believe that there is no alternative to that document in trying to find a settlement in Syria," Mr. Lukashevich said.