‘US fails to bring Syria rebels to Geneva talks’

‘US fails to bring Syria rebels to Geneva talks’
Mon Oct 14, 2013 19:07:54

Russia’s Foreign Minister has criticized the US for its inability to bring the Syrian militant groups to the Geneva II peace conference and for trying to shift the responsibility for the currently stalled negotiations on Russia.

“It is strange to hear repeated statements by some US state department officials that we are moving towards Geneva II, but it’s important that Russia puts pressure on Damascus. They are shifting the blame. We are actually putting pressure on Damascus, and it really works” Sergey Lavrov said on Monday after the talks with Honduran Foreign Minister Mireya Aguero.

Lavrov pointed at the fact that it’s the Syrian National Council which refused to take part in the peace conference. And the US was responsible for compelling it to participate. 

"The main obstacle to this endeavor is still the inability of our partners to force the Syrian opposition, whom they are supporting, to come to Geneva and sit down at the negotiating table with the government in order to find ways out of this crisis by general consent," Lavrov said as cited by Interfax.

US Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated the US position that President Bashar Assad should resign, a demand very much in tune with the demands of the Syrian militant groups, which has said his departure is a precondition for a peace conference.

Russia’s Foreign Minister said that only foreign backed militant groups “can win in case of delay." He believes that if the peace process does not start in Syria the consequences will be grave and far-reaching. 

“It’s more than just a tangle of controversies inside this country. We are seeing here underground processes, which are quite destructive, spreading throughout the Middle East and North Africa” Lavrov said. “If it keeps going on like this and if the peace process does not materialize, the consequences will be felt far outside the region.”

The prospect of Geneva-2 peace negotiations was called into question on Sunday, when the Syrian National Council, a major opposition group announced it would not participate in the talks.

The announcement was followed by a series of blasts in Damascus, including a mortar attack on Syrian TV.

Experts believe the escalation of violence at the time when the UN inspectors are working in the country, could be used by terrorist groups to disrupt the peace process.


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