UNITED NATIONS, Aug 16 (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council will not renew the mandate of a U.N. observer mission in Syria, which is due to expire in the coming days, and will begin its withdrawal from the country, French U.N. Ambassador Gerard Araud said on Thursday.
"The mandate of UNSMIS is over on the 19th of August ... UNSMIS will fade out," said Araud, who is the president of the Security Council for the month of August. He said conditions for renewing the mandate had not been met.
Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the permanent five Security Council members - Russia, China, the United States, France and Britain - and key regional players would meet on Syria in New York on Friday. He added that he regretted that the U.N. observer mission will end.