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Russia denies threatening Qatar in UN talks

Russia denies threatening Qatar over Syria, says UN measure could have passed in 2-3 days By The Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS (AP) ' Russia's U.N. ambassador is denying reports he threatened Qatar during contentious weekend negotiations on Syria and says a U.N. resolution could have passed if Western governments had waited another two or three days.

Ambassador Vitaly Churkin called a Tuesday news conference to deny reports circulating on the Internet that he responded to a warning by Qatar's prime minister not to veto the resolution by saying Russia would wipe Qatar off the map.

Churkin says Russia's U.N. Mission has been deluged with calls about the reports, which he says are "lies." Qatar has not commented.

Russia and China used their veto power on Saturday to block the resolution, which backed an Arab League peace plan for Syria.

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