No Replay: Russia Says NATO, Not Libyan People, Decided Gaddafi’s Fate
June 21, 2012
Lavrov says Russia will not admit replay of Libyan scenario for Syria
MOSCOW: Russia will not admit a replay of the Libyan scenario in Syria, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the Echo of Moscow liberal radio.
“It wasn’t the Libyan people who decided Gaddafi’s fate, it was NATO,” he said. “Nothing would have happened there without NATO’s bombings. Or, to be more precise, a reciprocal self-annihilation of the people would have continued, but NATO wouldn’t have gotten a mandate to take part in that war as one of the warring sides anyway.”
“That’s why Gaddafi’s plight is a somewhat different story but a replication of the Libyan scenario in Syria won’t be admitted, and we can guarantee this,” Lavrov said. “That’s why the parties to the Syrian conflict should take seats at the conference table and negotiate peace.”
June 21, 2012
Syrian govt, opposition should pull out troops from cities simultaneously – Lavrov
MOSCOW/ST. PETERSBURG: The Syrian government and the opposition should withdraw their troops from cities and other communities simultaneously under the UN observers’ control, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
Speaking to Echo Moskvy radio station on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum on Thursday, Lavrov said Russia could give its consent to increasing the number of UN military monitors in Syria.
“We deem it very important at this stage to make all the conflicting parties withdraw their armed units and military hardware from cities and other communities, but this must be done simultaneously,” Lavrov said.
“It happened earlier that the Syrian government, complying with an Arab League plan, left some cities last fall, and monitors reported that this happened, and then the government entered these cities again because opposition units had occupied them in the absence of government forces,” he said.
“There is a need for a plan of simultaneous withdrawal on both sides for each populated area under control of UN international monitors, the number of which we are prepared to increase,” he said.
June 21, 2012
Lavrov warns against Assad’s resignation
In an interview with Radio Ekho Moskvy on Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov described as ‘unrealistic’ Western leaders’ demands for Syrian President Bashar Assad’s free-will resignation.
Lavrov slammed the West’s scheme which cites Assad’s resignation as the only way to halt the violence in Greece. He recalled that at least 50 percent of Syrians supported Assad’s party during the elections.
Separately, Lavrov commented on a statement by French President Francois Hollande who said that Assad’s stepping down should become a precondition for the resolution of the Syrian crisis.
The top Russian diplomat said that the West’s Syria policy may lead to radicals’ coming to power there, something that will, in turn, damage security interests of moderate Muslims and Christians.
Lavrov was speaking on the sidelines of the 2012 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Voice of Russia
June 21, 2012
Russia continues consultations on Syria conference
Russia continues consultations to pave the way for the holding of an international conference on Syria which was earlier initiated by Moscow, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told reporters on Thursday.
He declined to elaborate.
Earlier this month, presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said that the conference could be held in Moscow or Geneva, and that the exact date was yet to be defined.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, for his part, voiced hope that the gathering will be attended by all permanent UN Security Council members and Syria’s immediate neighbors, as well as a host of key regional players and major international organizations.
Syria’s immediate neighbors include Iraq, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, while among key regional players are Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Iran.