17 Aug 2012

UN withdrawing from Syria

9:10 am on 17 August 2012

The United Nations Security Council will not renew the mandate of a UN observer mission in Syria and will begin a withdrawal from the country.

Security Council president Gerard Araud of France says conditions for renewing the mandate have not been met.

Russia said the permanent five Security Council members and key regional players will meet again on Friday to discuss the situation in Syria.

Russia warned earlier that pulling out of Syria would have "serious negative consequences" for the region.

The mandate of the observer mission is to end on 19 August.

UN / Arab League envoy Kofi Annan will step down on 31 August.