Lavrov: Syrian Opposition Responsible for Delaying Geneva Conference
Jun 11, 2013
Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov said that the Syrian opposition is responsible for delaying the holding of the international conference on Syria in Geneva.
In an interview on CBS TV, Lavrov said that the US officials admit that the “Syrian Coalition” is not ready to negotiate and cannot even decide who to represent it.
Lavrov said that the Syrian government is ready to send its delegation to the conference, adding that “Moscow believes that the Syrian leadership will send its delegation to the conference, we should know if the opposition will or will not go to Geneva.”
He dismissed the reports alleging that Russia’s stance on Syria is a reaction to a “US potential interference” in other countries’ affairs, adding that “Our foreign policy is firm and it is not based on such approach.”
“Russia’s western partners express their full understanding to the situation but they are embarrassed by their past statements”, Lavrov said, adding that these countries tell Russia that ” We said that President Bashar al-Assad should leave and we cannot retract our statements and swallow our tongues.”
Lavrov addressed these western officials saying “Well, you have to choose, you can think of your reputation or you can think of saving lives.”
He criticized US media which said that Russia is supporting a “loser horse”, saying ” It needs so much impertinence to use such terms to describe the tragic situation in Syria “.
In a related context, the Russian Minister said that Moscow is providing Syria with defensive weapons through contracts that were signed between the two sides.
He added that the international law does not prevent importing weapons to any sovereign country.
Lavrov expressed his country’s disappointment that the International Arms Trade treaty didn’t clearly tackle the issue of preventing weapons’ sale to non-governmental organizations.
He said that the opposition forces which are fighting against the Syrian Army is equipped with modern warfare as was the case in al-Qseir, adding that “The opposition had artillery and anti-aircrafts systems”.
Earlier, Lavrov and his Argentinean counterpart, Hector Tiimerman, expressed rejection of providing weapons to armed groups in Syria, reiterating their rejection to attempts to militarize the crisis in Syria.
Russia, Argentina Renew Their Refusal to Militarize Crisis in Syria
Earlier, Russia and Argentina have reiterated their unequivocal rejection of the militarization of the crisis in Syria, expressing their concern over the escalation of violence that actually worsens the situation in Syria.
During their meeting in Buenos Aires on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister, sergei Lavrov and his Argentine counterpart Hector Timerman, expressed their refusal of importing weapons to illegal armed groups to be used against the army and the Syrian people.
Lavrov and Timerman called for a peaceful and political settlement to the crisis in Syria, an immediate cessation of all acts of violence and commitment to a comprehensive dialogue between all components of the Syrian people.
H. Zain/ M. Nassr / Ghossoun