Proposals to ignore Assad not feasible: Russia PM

Proposals to ignore Assad not feasible: Russia PM
Fri Nov 1, 2013 20:17:04

Proposals to end the Syrian conflict that ignore President Assad are not feasible, Russia’s Prime Minister says.

In an interview with Reuters, hailing the success of the chemical weapons plan, Dmitry Medvedev stressed the international community needs to keep working for a peaceful solution.

Medvedev urged Russia’s international partners “not to let the situation spiral out of control.”

He accepted that significant progress had been made on the chemical weapons front.

Damascus met its deadline of destroying “the critical equipment which is needed to run their chemical weapons production facilities” on Wednesday, according to the UN Watchdog.

Recognizing the breakthrough, Medvedev said it was important to get up the diplomatic pressure and reach a practical solution to the conflict that involved President Bashar Assad.

“The proposals to find an arrangement by ignoring President Assad are not feasible while he remains in power,” noted Medvedev, adding that Assad “is not crazy; he needs to get some guarantees or proposals on the development of the political dialogue in Syria, possible elections and his personal fate.”

“You can’t just tell him, ‘Get out of here and we’ll then sort it out.’ It’s a complicated process and all the sides, both the opposition and the government, have to make concessions.”

Representatives from the Syrian opposition refused to take part in the Geneva-2 peace talks last week. Members of the opposition have said they are not prepared to take part in negotiations to end the conflict unless Assad steps down immediately.

A total of 19 Syrian militant groups stated they would not be attending and said that if any opposition figures participated it would amount to ‘treason’.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has urged those who wield influence with the opposition to persuade them to come to the bargaining table.


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