Russia: Foreign backers of Syria rebels responsible for their threats

Russia: Foreign backers of Syria rebels responsible for their threats
Mon Oct 28, 2013 14:45:20

Russia says Syria militant groups’ threat against Geneva talks over the war in Syria is "outrageous" and rests “on the conscience of those who finance and arm these opposition groups”.

"It is outrageous that some of these extremist, terrorist organizations fighting government forces in Syria are starting to make threats," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in televised comments on Monday.

On Sunday 19 militant groups, supported by the United States and its regional and Western allies, rejected the long-awaited Geneva-based talks and branded is as ‘treason’ on the part of any militant group that took part in the meeting. 

Lavrov said the threats by the terrorist groups’ commanders implied that Russian "diplomatic representative offices and diplomats (working) in foreign countries would be legitimate targets" of assassination and other attacks.

"This is all outrageous and unacceptable. And all of this, in the end, rests on the conscience of those who finance and arm these opposition groups," Russia's top diplomat said.

"The threats are directed at those who have the courage to attend the proposed Geneva conference being offered by Russia and the United States with the entire world's support."

The Geneva conference was proposed jointly by Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry in May but has since been repeatedly delayed.
Syrian government has announced that it is ready to talk with the opposition with no pre-conditions but the US has so far failed to bring the other side to the negotiation table.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is still to name a formal date for the proposed meeting despite comments from some Syrian and Arab nation officials suggesting the talks could be held late next month.

SHI/SHI

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