Lavrov rejects Kerry’s stance on Syria

Lavrov rejects Kerry’s stance on Syria
Wed Aug 28, 2013 09:14:35

Russia’s top diplomat has disagreed with his US counterpart in a phone conversation about the situation in Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry reports.

In the conversation, requested by the United States, US Secretary of State John Kerry told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Syria’s government was to blame for the alleged use of chemical weapons in that country, but Lavrov rejected that viewpoint, the ministry said in a Tuesday statement.

“Lavrov … rejected such an assessment and cited relevant arguments on the Russian side,” the statement said.

Western powers are considering armed intervention in the two-year war in Syria after hundreds of people were killed last week in the capital, Damascus, in an apparent nerve gas attack that the opposition claimed was performed by government forces.

The Syrian government quickly denied the allegations and said it had evidence of terrorist groups using chemical weapons.

The unrest in Syria began in March 2011 and later escalated into a war. More than 100,000 people have been killed in the conflict so far, according to United Nations estimates.

The United Nations Security Council has so far not authorized any military intervention in the Syrian crisis. Moscow, along with Beijing, has previously vetoed three UN Security Council resolutions condemning Syrian President Bashar Assad's government.

Russia has been Syria's most important ally during the war. Moscow has sent to Damascus some weapons that it said were being supplied under previously agreed deals.

Russia harshly criticized the United States on Tuesday for allegedly using “unproven excuses” to justify military action in Syria and said Moscow was “seriously disappointed” by Washington’s decision to put off a bilateral meeting to discuss the crisis.


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