MOSCOW: The situation in Syria can lead to destabilization of the situation in other Arab countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
After the talks with his Kazakhstani counterpart Yerzhan Kazykhanov on Monday, Lavrov said,
"Tension continues to heighten in the region. The public stirs up in Egypt. Disorders have begun in Bahrain. Attacks on government buildings have been made in Kuwait.”
“I don’t rule out that these processes are conditioned by the atmosphere that is being created in Syria when certain foreign players call on the Syrian opposition not to start dialogue with the authorities,” the minister said.
“Foreign countries’ policy towards Syria gives in to the temptation by neighbouring states in order to use the situation for their benefit and stir up tension in their states.”
Lavrov said the West’s and the Middle East’s calls for overthrowing the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad looked like a global provocation.
In his view, in order to stop violence it is necessary to convince Syrian authorities and armed groups, who are trying to use peaceful protests to instigate violence, to give up disproportionate use of force.
“If democracy is interpreted as grenade-launcher attacks on the buildings of the Baath Party and on administrative facilities, Moscow cannot agree with this.
“Till now we’ve watched, when the LAS called for ceasing violence and starting a dialogue, Western capitals and certain countries of the Middle East region back calls for advising the opposition to avoid such dialogue,” the Russian minister said. “This looks like a global provocation,” Lavrov stressed.
“If everyone wants to give Syrians an opportunity to exercise their right to decide their fate themselves, it is necessary to take a fair and responsible approach,” the minister stressed.
Commenting on the request to ensure the security of peaceful civilians, Lavrov noted,
“Everyone remembers the events that preceded the Libyan tragedy. It’s this slogan that had been used by those who grossly violated the U.N. Security Council resolutions by delivering missile strikes instead of protecting peaceful civilians,” he said, adding, “So, the most important right ~ the right to life ~ was infringed upon.”
Russia believes that the League of Arab States initiative on the settlement in Syria should be concretized, Lavrov said.
Lavrov said Russia wanted LAS observers and foreign mass media to work in Syria.
“We uphold an idea of involving unbiased observers in the settlement. We also want mass media to get open access to Syria.”
“The idea of sending LAS observers to Syria is not new. The LAS put forth this initiative on November 2. We actively supported this idea.”
He also said,
“Several days ago the Syrian government agreed to accept LAS observers and allow them access to any area of the country.”
“We believe it necessary to send LAS observers to Syria in order to keep a close watch on the fulfillment of obligations by all parties,” he stressed.
“This is not our fantasy. These are components that the LAS initiative contains. But we believe that they should be concretized,” the minister said.
The events in Syria resemble a real civil war, he added. “The LAS initiative of November 2 [we supported this initiative] contains several components. The first point is that it is necessary to stop violence wheresoever it comes from. It is important because violence in Syria comes not only from government structures,” the minister said.
“Today I’ve watched television commentaries saying a new force ~ the Liberated Syrian Army ~ organized attacks on government buildings, i.e. buildings owned by the Syrian Armed Forces. This resembles a real civil war,” Lavrov noted.
“The LAS position on the need to cease violence wherever it came from requires details and concrete facts. In order to realize the Arab initiative we call on all interested parties to demand the Syrian authorities and the opposition stop violence. This should be done on behalf of the LAS and on behalf of the countries where the opposition works,” Lavrov stressed.
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