Russia criticizes US aid to Syria militants

Russia criticizes US aid to Syria militants
Wed Jul 24, 2013 23:00:45

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the United States of stalling chances for peace in Syria by pressing ahead with plans to arm foreign-backed militants.

Lavrov told a press conference that Washington's plans would undermine joint efforts to organize an international peace conference on Syria that he agreed to with his U.S. counterpart, John Kerry, in May.

The international conference of Geneva 2 will serve as a follow-up to an earlier Geneva meeting held in June 2012 in order to bring both Syrian government and opposition on the negotiating table.

"If our American partners are now focusing on arming the opposition and are sharing plans... to strike Syrian government positions, then this, of course, runs against agreements to hold a conference," he said.

"That goes against our joint initiative," the Russian Foreign Minister noted.

The chances of bringing Syria's divided opposition and government representatives to the negotiating table have faded in recent weeks.

The conflict in Syria started in March 2011, when pro-reform protests turned into a massive insurgency following the intervention of Western and regional states.

The unrest, which took in terrorist groups from across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, has transpired as one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent history.

As the foreign-backed insurgency in Syria continues without an end in sight, the US government has boosted its political and military support to Takfiri extremists.

Washington has remained indifferent about warnings by Russia and other world powers about the consequences of arming militant groups.


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