Russia, Italy: No preconditions for international conference on Syria
Jun 15, 2013
Russian and Italy on Saturday said they share the position that there is no alternative to the political solution in Syria and they support holding the international conference on Syria due in Geneva to implement what was agreed upon in Geneva communiqué issued on June 30th of last year.
“Our joint stance is that there is no alternative to the political solution to the crisis in Syria,” Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, told a joint press conference with his Italian counterpart, Emma Bonino, in Moscow.
He pointed out that last year “everybody agreed on taking part in the international dialogue process in which all segments of the Syrian society are to participate,” expressing thanks for the Italian Foreign Minister’s support to holding the international conference.
Bonino, for her part, stressed the importance that the upcoming international conference on Syria be based on what last year’s Geneva meeting agreed upon.
“This process should be carried out without preconditions…and the decisions should be taken at the end of the process,” she said.
She indicated a difficulty in getting this mission done, saying “We know how hard this is, and usually the outcomes of such conferences depend on the parties’ readiness for compromises.”
Lavrov indicated in this context to the preconditions set by certain groups of the “Syrian opposition”, namely those demanding the “departure” of President Bashar al-Assad.
He criticized Russia’s Western partners’ commitment to the opposition’s logic on the need to “remove the regime from power” and take over some cities as prerequisites to start dialogue.
“In that case, it wouldn’t be possible to start the dialogue,” said Lavrov.
Lavrov: Syrian regime is not in dilemma
The Russian Foreign Minister slammed the West’s “conflicting statements” on the issue of using chemical weapons as being among the factors which hinder the international efforts to hold the international conference on Syria.
Lavrov recalled the previous Western statements which said that the “regime” was likely to use chemical weapons in case it found itself in a dilemma, stressing that the “regime” in Syria is not in a dilemma.
“On the contrary, the Syrian opposition says the regime is making great military achievements on the ground,” said Lavrov, wondering “What is the use of the [Syrian] government using chemical weapons?…It’s useless.”
The Russian Foreign Minister stressed the absence of any reliable evidence that could prove that the Syrian government did use chemical weapons.
“The information and evidence which our American, British and French colleagues presented don’t meet the standards of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,” said Lavrov, adding that this information has not been under continuous scrutiny and could not be confirmed.
Lavrov pointed out that the chance to conduct an international inquire into the use of chemical weapons in Syria upon the Syrian government’s request was missed because of the steps which were taken by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
He clarified that Ki-moon failed to respond to Syria’s request for an inquiry into the incident of chemical weapons use which took place last March 19th in Khan al-Assal in Aleppo countryside.
“Instead of sending a mission to that place, Ki-moom sent a message to Syria demanding to be allowed visits to all areas in Syria,” Lavrov continued.
“We see in this a repetition of the Iraqi scenario, and everybody knows the consequences of implementing such a scenario,” he warned.
The Russian Foreign Minister expressed his country’s concern over the news and information on chemical weapons smuggle by the armed terrorist groups and the Turkish police’s arrest of members from Jabhat al-Nusra with sarin gas in their possession, wondering how “we didn’t notice any concern on the part of our Western partners regarding this issue.”
Asked a question about the US’s supplying the “opposition” in Syria with heavy weapons, Lavrov said “I haven’t heard news about the U.S. government’s desire to supply the Syrian opposition with heavy weapons…and according to our assessment, the Syrian regime didn’t cross the red line.”
Lavrov: Deployment of F-16 jets and Patriot missiles in Jordan is against international law
Lavrov referred in this context to the information provided by the Wall Street Journal deployment of U.S. F-16 fighter jets and Patriot missiles in Jordan, stressing that this issue is a violation of the international law.
“This equipment was deployed on the Jordanian territories and these missiles would fall the Syrian aircrafts from the Jordanian territories, and this is a violation of the international law,” said Lavrov, voicing hope that “Our American colleagues participate more effectively in the preparations for the international conference on Syria.”
Russian Foreign Ministry: UNHRC resolution on Syria biased, ignores crimes of extremists
The Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that the resolution of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Syria is biased, unfruitful and addressed against the Syrian government while it ignores the crimes committed by the extremist opposition.
“The new biased resolution against Syria was initiated by the US, Britain, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkey… some Arab states which preliminary backed the decision have eventually abstained from taking part in making this resolution,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
The resolution includes a bid to legitimize the Doha Coalition while it ignores several moderate opposition groups which pledged commitment to human rights, the statement added.
Syria’s permanent representative to the UN in Geneva Fayssal al-Hamwi said that the UNHRC draft resolution on human rights conditions in Syria is biased and full of lies and fabricated events, and claims of massacres in al-Qseir have never taken place.
H. Said/ F.Allafi