First Published: 2012-06-09

 

Moscow: Assad’s fate in hands of Syrians

 

Lavrov says nations may have to overlook ideological divisions to settle the Syria crisis, suggests United States should do so over Iran.

 

Middle East Online

‘Annan's plan has begun to seriously falter’

MOSCOW – Russia said Saturday it would be "only glad" to support the departure of President Bashar al-Assad if Syrians agreed on it, without wanting to impose the process from the outside.

"If the Syrians agree on this with each other, we will be only glad to support such an outcome," said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, adding that Moscow did not want to "impose the conditions of dialogue from outside."

The Russian Foreign Minister added that denying Tehran a role in the process would be "thoughtless".

"We want this event to be effective," said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

"To say that Iran doesn't have a place because it is already to blame for everything and it's part of the problem and not part of the solution, this is thoughtless, to say the least, from the point of view of serious diplomacy."

The Iranian government is one of the most important of a dwindling number of friends for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the United Nations, has called Iran a "spoiler" and said it is "part of the problem in Syria".

The United States has accused Iran of arming Assad's forces.

Russia has said its planned meeting on Syria would include all major international players and was needed to overcome differences on how to implement the tattered peace plan of UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.

Moscow wants to hold the conference "as soon as possible", Lavrov said.

Lavrov said nations may have to overlook ideological divisions to settle the Syria crisis, and he suggested the United States should do so over Iran.

"Americans are pragmatists. When they want, they do not pay attention to ideological problems," Lavrov said. "This is pragmatism. It's simply necessary in foreign policy. We are talking about saving people's lives."

Lavrov acknowledged that Annan's peace plan "has begun to seriously falter," adding however that "we do not see an alternative to the implementation of this plan."

Diplomats said Friday that Britain, France and the United States would quickly draw up a UN Security Council resolution proposing sanctions against Syria over the worsening conflict that saw a fresh massacre this week.

At least 55 people were killed in Wednesday's assault on the village of Al-Kubeir, according to the Syrian Observatory.

UN officials believe that Syrian government forces and allies were behind the attack on the mainly Sunni Muslim village surrounded by an Alawite population loyal to Assad.

But Russia again reiterated its opposition to the use of force.

"We will not sanction the use of force at the United Nations Security Council," Lavrov said.

 

Britain wants ‘strategic partnership’ with GCC

Egypt’s 'three-year strategy' seeks to revive struggling economy

Syria forces take control of Aleppo Old City

Over 40 people missing after ship sinks off Yemen

Qatar to invest up to $13bn on 'mega projects' in 2017

Libya's key oil region threatened by renewed fighting

Syria rebels call for Aleppo ceasefire

Rebel rockets scar west Aleppo residents

Egypt jails prominent NGO activist

Turkish soldier killed in Syria bomb blast

IS-linked group ousted from Somalia town

Kerry, Lavrov to resume Syria talks Wednesday

Iraqis swarm to remarry after liberation from ‘caliphate’

Four drown, 34 rescued off Morocco coast

Israel to vote on bill to legalise West Bank settlements

Turkish businessmen embrace Erdogan’s plan to boost lira

Battle for Mosul advances deeper into city

Iran to sign deal with Shell in bid to boost output

Israeli missiles strike targets outside Damascus

Hollande condemns Russia’s ‘systematic obstruction’ of Syria ceasefire

Turkey doing 'everything possible' to push Syria talks between Russia, opposition

Russia army colonel dies after Aleppo rebel shelling

Libyan forces hunt remaining jihadists in Sirte

Iraqi jailed in Sweden for war crimes after Facebook post

Regime forces seize five Aleppo districts from rebels

Israeli artist erects golden Netanyahu statue in protest

Russia says US stalling on Aleppo rebel pullout

Saudi sentences 15 to death for being Iranian spies

US defence secretary says Mosul battle could end before Trump

US, NATO stress 'unity' as Trump raises doubts

Greece to extradite three Turkish coup officers

Egypt arrests 25 human organ traffickers

Morocco PM statement on Russia’s ‘destructive’ role in Syria angers Moscow

Israel far right hails bill to 'legalise' settler homes

Merkel says Aleppo situation ‘disgrace’

Iranian president says sanctions renewal proves US still ‘enemy’

Yemen arrests eight IS suspects in Aden

Turkey arrests opposition advisor over alleged Gulen links

Russia says OPEC, non-OPEC countries to meet in Vienna

British PM joins GCC summit for trade talks

Israel government nears deal that could 'legalise' settler homes

Yemen's Hadi would only give way to 'elected' leader

Russia says medic killed, others injured in Aleppo fighting

Greek court rejects extradition of Turkey officers

Sudan court frees 26 protesters