Friday, January 11, 2013

Bogdanov: Russia's Stand on Syria Aims at Preserving its Sovereignty

Bogdanov: Russia's Stand on Syria Aims at Preserving its Sovereignty

MOSCOW, (SANA)_The Russian President's Special Envoy to the Middle East, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, reaffirmed that the Russian position on the crisis in Syria aims to reinforce the principles of international law and non-interference in the Syrian domestic affairs.

In an interview with RT TV Channel on Thursday, Bogdanov said that Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly stressed that Russia's stand on Syria does not stem from vested interests for Russia in Syria, nor does it have any geopolitical, military or economic goals.

Bogdanov said that Russia will reiterate, during talks scheduled for Friday in Geneva with the participation of the US Deputy Secretary of State, William Burns and the UN Special Syria Envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, that Geneva statement underpins any political solution in Syria.

''We are heading to Geneva meeting with Burns and Brahimi to discuss all files, looking forward to a real implementation of Geneva statement without impinging on the Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity or interfering in its people's right to choose their leadership,'' adding that Moscow considers Geneva statement that was agreed upon by all international sides concerned as a basic, irreplaceable document for action.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement following Bogdanov's meeting with First Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkey, Feridun Sinirlioglu, that the two sides stressed the importance of an immediate halt to violence and ending the suffering of the Syrian people, acknowledging the importance of implementing Geneva statement for protecting the Syrian state and the interests of the Syrian people.

Bogdanov said on Wednesday that he will discuss with the Turkish diplomat all aspects of solving the crisis in Syria, asserting that the meeting is not linked to the continuous sending of Patriot missiles systems to Turkey, which he said raises Moscow's concerns.

Lukashevich: Russian Position Has Not Changed, the Syrians Alone Decide Their Country's Future
Russian Foreign Ministry said that the Russian position towards the crisis in Syria has not changed and that the Syrians alone decide the development of their countries, reiterating Russia's readiness to help the initiation of a dialogue between the government and the opposition.

Spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Alexander Lukashevich ,in a statement on the Ministry's website, called on all foreign players to double their efforts to ensure appropriate circumstances to start a national dialogue in Syria without preconditions and in accordance with Geneva Statement.

About U.S. intentions to use the tripartite meeting on Syria scheduled in Geneva to put pressure on Syria, Lukashevich said that the Russian position has not changed and that his country is committed to the rapid translation of the statements about the importance of Geneva Statement into practical mechanisms able to stop the violence in Syria.

He added that the Russian Foreign Ministry recently issued a special comment about the Russian vision of the goals of coming round of tripartite consultations scheduled in Geneva.

M. Ismael/Ghossoun

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