Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lavrov: Efforts to Settle Crisis in Syria Confronted By Opposition's Rejection

MOSCOW, (SANA) Russia's Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, said the terrorist acts are continuing in Syria because of the uncontrolled flow of weapons and gunmen to the country. 

In a speech during the annual conference on the results of the Russian diplomacy in 2012, Lavrov stressed that the priority for Russia is to consolidate dialogue as to solve the crisis in Syria in full accordance with the Geneva statement without any distortion. 

He called upon all sides to immediately stop violence and set at the dialogue table, adding that Russia is meeting with all the sides in Syria, whether from the government or the opposition, and calls upon all external players, including members of the UN Security Council and Turkey, to implement the Geneva statement. 

He highlighted that the efforts of Russia and China with the UN envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, are hindered by the Syrian opposition which rejects dialogue and insists on bringing down the regime, "which is an unacceptable idea that will not be useful for dialogue". 

Lavrov expressed regret over the wrong messages sent by other participants of the Geneva action group to the Syrian opposition that doesn't want to meet with the government. 

He noted that "The opposition coalition stated that it doesn't allow any meeting with the government", saying "this contradicts what we agreed upon in Geneva, that is preserving the state and not repeating the mistakes which were made in other countries". 

"I don't know why the West welcomed the 'Doha Coalition' which rejected the dialogue, they should commit the coalition to hold dialogue," Lavrov said, adding that "Our priority in solving the crisis in Syria is through dialogue, we agreed with our partners on preventing crises from spreading." 

The Russian Foreign Minister stressed that Moscow's foreign policies aim at solving the crises in the world, expressing worries over the situation in Syria and the region. 

Answering a question on the evacuation of Russian citizens from Syria, Lavrov stressed that Moscow is not evacuating its citizens from Syria, noting that "There are tens of thousands of Russian citizens in Syria, and less than 100 families agreed to travel to Russia."

"The situation in Syria, according to the evaluation of the Russian Embassy, doesn't require the implementation of the emergency situation plan for evacuation of the Russian citizens," he added. 

Lavrov described Washington's exclusion of Iran from participating in solving the crisis in Syria as a "great mistake", adding that Tehran is a key country and problems in the region cannot be solved without it. 

He stressed that the calls to isolate Iran will lead to a crisis and will fail. 

He suggested that all the gulf, Arabs and Iranians, prepare the needed agreement to set a defense strategy in the gulf, pointing out that the problems between gulf states and Iran should be solved through dialogue. 

Lavrov underlines that Russia works on solving the international problems on the bases of mutual respect and avoiding meddling in the countries' affairs, stressing the need to reach a just solution to the Palestinian Cause. 

M. Nassr/ H. Said

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