Russia rules out Assad's resignation for new talks

Russia rules out Assad's resignation for new talks
Sat Apr 5, 2014 10:59:28

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that suggestions for resignation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as a precondition for holding a new round of peace talks are “inadmissible”.

"Any talk of Assad's resignation being a precondition for the Geneva conference is inadmissible," Lavrov said on Friday, adding that fighting against terrorism was a priority for those who wanted to settle the crisis in Syria.

"All UN Security Council resolutions consider terrorism in all its forms unacceptable. It cannot be justified on any grounds," Lavrov stated.

The Russian foreign minister also said that the West could no longer stick to the excuse that the Syrian government benefits from terrorism in the country. He also denounced the West’s failure to condemn atrocities committed by foreign-backed militants in Syria.

Lavrov added the scale of terrorism in Syria has taken a form that can no longer be covered by the Westerners as they have done before.

"Terrorists in Syria have started to take a form that no longer allows our Western partners to hide behind their claims that governments cover the terrorists,” said Lavrov, addressing the journalists following a meeting of foreign ministers of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

“These excuses can’t be justified anymore,” he added in a press conference in Moscow on Friday.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. Over 150,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled by Western-backed militants.

According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

A recent British defense study showed that about 100,000 militants, fragmented into 1,000 groups, are fighting in Syria against the government and people.


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