Russia refutes US reports on Syria power handover agreement
June 6, 2013
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called a US State Department report that Russia, the US and UN agreed that Syrian authorities should pass their power to a transitional government as a “strong distortion of information”.
The top Russian diplomat commented on the statement made earlier this week by the Department of State spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
“In particular, the State Department representative stated that Russia, the United States and the United Nations agree that the goal of the new conference in Geneva must be the forming of a new transitional government in Syria. This really matches with what was written down last year. But, if the reports that I have received are true, the State Department went on to add that this should be a transitional government to which the current authorities in Damascus would hand over all their powers. If this was really said by the State Department, this is a very strong distortion of what the talks were about,” Lavrov told reporters at the press conference connected with the Baltic States’ conference of foreign ministers.
The Russian Foreign Minister said the agreement reached at his meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry was that the “forming of a government on the basis of consent between the authorities and the opposition is one thing and forming it through handing over the power from the government to the opposition – is something completely different. “Therefore, I expect that the US negotiators will observe what we have agreed upon with John Kerry,” he noted.