Lavrov: Russia stance on Syria unchanged

Lavrov: Russia stance on Syria unchanged
Mon Sep 9, 2013 16:41:13

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Moscow’s position regarding Syria will not change under different conditions.

"The Russian position is well-known and is not subject to any time-serving fluctuations,” Lavrov said in a meeting with visiting Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem in Moscow on Monday.

The Russian foreign minister rejected any foreign military intervention in Syria, stressing on peaceful settlement of the crisis in the Arab country.

“No alternative to a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Syria exists, moreover, no military solution related with a foreign intervention exists,” Lavrov added.

He said that the foreign-backed Syrian opposition must attend the proposed upcoming Geneva conference without preconditions.

On May 7, the Russian foreign minister and US Secretary of State John Kerry agreed in the Russian capital, Moscow, to convene an international conference on Syria, which will serve as a follow-up to an earlier Geneva meeting held in June 2012.

But Washington rushed to dispatch its warships toward Syria and threaten to attack the country, turning its back on international efforts to bring the two sides of Syria conflict to the negotiation table, as Russia criticized.

“We will continue to foster the Russian-US initiative of the convocation of the Geneva-2 conference. We will continue to insist on the definitive agreement of the Syrian opposition to attend without preconditions and on the complete implementation of the Geneva Communiqué of June 30, 2012,” Lavrov said.

The Russian official further urged Washington to focus on talks instead of strikes on Syria, saying a US military attack on Syria could lead to the spread of terrorism.

Washington is struggling to gather support for a military action against Syria over conflicting reports of use of chemical arms in an attack near Syrian capital Damascus on August 21. 

The US Congress will officially start debating a US administration plan for war when lawmakers end their recess on September 9.

The Syrian government categorically rejected having any involvement in the attack.

Lavrov further said that there is plenty of evidence proving that the foreign-backed militants used chemical weapons in Syria.

Muallem for his part reiterated his country’s preparedness to participate in the Geneva-2 conference.

“As for Geneva, we confirmed many times our participation in a conference without any preliminary conditions and we are prepared for it up to this moment of time,” he said.

The Syrian official also stressed that if any aggression occurs against his country, Syria will take a different position.

Muallem also conveyed the greetings of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for supporting Syria.

“Assad asked to convey greetings and gratitude to Putin for his position on Syria before and after the G20 summit,” Muallem said.


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