Syria FM: Putin Want Closer Ties with Assad

Thu Nov 27, 2014 13:57:01

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday criticised the West for launching airstrikes on Syrian territory under control of the so-called Islamic State group without the support of the Syrian government.

"Questions arise concerning the actions of the (western) coalition, built up by the United States, which declared their right to bombard Syrian territory under the control of the Islamic State, without the consent of Damascus. We view this as contradicting the fundamental norms of law”, Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister said.

However, Lavrov said Russia supported the proposal floated by the UN envoy to Syria for local cease-fires, which Syrian President Bashar Assad has said is worth studying.

Lavrov was speaking at a joint news conference with visiting Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, in Russia's southern city of Sochi.

Russian President Vladimir Putin wants closer ties with Syria's president and tighter cooperation between Moscow and Damascus, Syria's foreign minister said Wednesday after meeting the Russian leader.

Walid al-Moallem said that during the talks in the city of Sochi, Putin “confirmed the determination of Russia to develop relations with Syrian President Bashar Assad'' and “strengthening the strategic partnership between our countries.''

The ISIS group's onslaught in Syria and Iraq has given greater urgency to international efforts to find a solution for Syria's conflict.

Previous attempts and two rounds of peace talks in Switzerland earlier this year failed to yield any progress as west insisting to support armed group in Syria.

Lavrov said he did not expect another wide-ranging round of talks like those in Switzerland.

“If you are counting on the announcement of another conference like the one that was called in Montreux this January with the participation of 50 states, thousands of journalists, TV lights,'' he said, “then such a conference won't be.''

The meeting between Al-Moallem and Lavrov came as Russian President Vladimir Putin announced he had finalised Russia's defence plan.

Speaking at a meeting with top Russian Defence Ministry officials, Putin insisted that Russia was not “threatening anyone and we are not going to get involved in any geopolitical games or intrigues, let alone conflicts, however strongly some may wish to pull us into them.”

But, he said, "At the same time, it is important to defend the sovereignty and integrity of Russia and the safety of our allies."

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