UNITED NATIONS, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Russia regrets former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's decision to step down as the U.N.-Arab League mediator in the 17-month-old Syria conflict at end of the month, Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said on Thursday.
"We understand that it's his decision," Churkin told reporters. "We regret that he chose to do so. We have supported very strongly Kofi Annan's efforts. He has another month to go, and I hope this month is going to be used as effectively as possible under these very difficult circumstances."
Churkin added he was encouraged that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is looking for a successor to Annan.