'Friends of Syria' to call for UN to plan mission

MATTHEW LEE PAUL SCHEMM Associated Press Published:

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) -- A senior diplomat attending the Friends of Syria meeting says the group will call for the United Nations to begin planning a Syria peacekeeping mission.

The diplomat said the group would endorse preparations for the U.N. to send civilian police to Syria once hostilities are over. The diplomat said the envisioned operation would occur in a permissive environment and would not be a military intervention.

The diplomat, who spoke due to the sensitivity of ongoing diplomacy, said the move was part of a campaign to show that the collapse of President Bashar Assad's regime is inevitable.

It's also a signal to Russia and China, which have blocked U.N. Security Council action on Syria twice.