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Advanced UN observer team for Syria on standby
Advanced UN observer team on standby to enter Syria, awaiting approval
By The Associated Press

GENEVA (AP) ' The spokesman for international envoy Kofi Annan says an advance team of U.N. observers is ready to enter Syria, where the ceasefire is "relatively respected" despite government troops and heavy weapons still in population centers.

Ahmad Fawzi says "we have the advanced team standing by to board planes and get themselves on the ground as soon as possible."

Fawzi told reporters in Geneva the team would prepare the way for a full mission of up to 250 observers on the ground if the U.N. Security Council gives approval as hoped when it meets later Friday.

He says the full mission would help keep the peace "if the ceasefire holds and it turns into a genuine cessation of hostilities."

Fawzi says Syria's approval for the U.N. mission also is needed.

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