Syrian government right to seek focus on terrorism: Russia

Syrian government right to seek focus on terrorism: Russia
Tue Feb 18, 2014 07:54:31

Russia says the blame for the lack of progress at the Geneva talks aimed at finding a political solution to the crisis in Syria should not be placed on the Arab country.

The second round of talks between delegations representing the Syrian government and the foreign-backed opposition groups in the Swiss city of Geneva deadlocked on February 15 with both sides sticking to their positions.

The Syrian delegation said fighting terrorism should be the top priority. But the opposition insisted that formation of a transitional government and resignation of President Bashar al-Assad must come first.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday that UN-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi "should not stray toward unilateral accusations and place responsibility for the stalled dialogue on one side.”

The ministry also hailed the “positive intent” of the Syrian government, saying their move to put fighting terrorism high on the agenda was “completely justified.”

Earlier in the day, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dismissed US claims that Moscow failed to push for a political solution in the second round of talks.

He noted that statistics show that the main problem behind the Syria conflict is the terrorist and extremist groups that have spread across the country and do not answer to any political structure.

He made the comments after US Secretary of State John Kerry criticized Moscow for not doing enough to make sure the Syrian government remained committed to the Geneva II peace talks.

Kerry also accused Damascus of stonewalling the talks with Russia’s support.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since March 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.


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