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.

 

US House gives green light to plan to arm Syria rebels

Bahrain slams Qatar for offering citizenship to Sunni nationals

UN brokers Israeli-Palestinian deal on Gaza reconstruction

Libya PM presents new cabinet in Tobruk

Scottish independence campaigners find support in Palestinian bagpipers

New Turkish safety law costs 5,000 coal miners jobs

Davutoglu denounces ruling against Turkey’s religion courses

South Sudan to revoke expulsion of foreign workers

Algeria to tighten grip on imam training

Libya Islamists unleash another offensive on Benghazi airport

Iraqi bishop: Operations against IS in Iraq came very late

French parliament approves new anti-terror bill

World Bank calls for sweeping reforms in Tunisia

Obama to meet with generals planning IS assault

Iraq parliament votes down PM's security nominees

Qaeda branches urge jihadists to unite against US

Despite war, South Sudan replaces foreign workers with locals

IS jihadists shoot down Syria warplane

Renegade former general claims air raid on Libya militia position

Six Egypt policemen in Sinai bomb attack

Erdogan: Turkey would welcome exiled Brotherhood leaders

US warplanes carry out first strikes on IS near Baghdad

UEFA urged not to award 2020 European Championship to Israel

Israel sees future war with Hezbollah

Germany tries first 'Islamic State jihadist'

Egypt court bails top 2011 revolt activist

Iran rejected US request to cooperate against IS

Iran ridicules anti-jihadist international conference

Egypt textile factory collapse kills six

Mali separatists agree to speak with one voice

Qatar starts to curb Brotherhood’s activities

Coalition meets in Paris to plan fight against IS

Around 930 French citizens or residents involved 'in jihad' in Iraq, Syria

Yemen rebels, officials to meet with UN to end standoff

Qatar-based Egypt's Brotherhood leaders to relocate

Cameron chairs emergency meeting over British hostage beheading

Hollande defends arming Kurds against IS

43 Israeli soldiers condemn 'abuses' of Palestinians

Egypt urged to free more than 20 demonstrators

Turkey’s internet censored further

Tunisia Islamists clash with police in protest

10 Arab states agree to 'share' US-led fight against IS

Obama awaits Congress approval of Syria rebel aid

Hollande in Iraq to back new government

Lebanon to set up refugee camps along border with Syria