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.

 

New Israel party created amid rumours of early elections

French lawmakers to debate recognition of Palestine

Oil prices nosedive in Asia after OPEC refuses to cede ground to US shale

Foreign workers will get more protection in Gulf

Lebanese diva Sabah passes away

Syria, Russia support UN in suspending Aleppo fighting

Powers to push for Iran nuclear deal before new deadline

Iraqi forces, tribesmen battle IS jihadists in Ramadi

Egypt jails 78 minors for pro-Morsi protests

OPEC meets for pivotal decision on oil output

US slams Assad regime for ‘continued slaughter’

Pope to rebuild bridges with Islamic world in Turkey visit

Regime indiscriminate strikes kill scores in Islamic State 'capital' in Syria

Putin meets with Syria Foreign Minister in Black Sea retreat of Sochi

Egypt, France agree to step up cooperation against terrorism

Britain rushes to fight terror with controversial bill

Gunmen kill 3 Egypt policemen in fresh terrorist attack

Iran lawmakers finally approve third Rouhani science minister pick

Turkey clears only suspect in alleged poisoning of former president

Huthis humiliate Al-Ahmar clan with capture of Sanaa headquarters

Christians hold out in Syria second city despite Daesh threat

Libya’s Derna emerges as new IS stronghold

Egypt to reopen Rafah border crossing Wednesday

Egypt leader begins two-day trip to France

Tribesmen blow up Yemen’s main oil pipeline

Russia trims oil output

UN chief calls for halt to Libya air strikes

Syrian air strikes on Raqa kill 63 civilians

17 killed in fatal Cairo building collapse

Egypt nabs five Salafist leaders

Essebsi leads Tunisia presidential vote

Paris pushing for 'safe zones' in war-torn Syria

New air strike hits Tripoli’s sole operational airport

Pentagon chief steps down

Saudi seeks to ‘knock out’ shale oil competitors from oil market

Death toll rises from Morocco flash floods

Yemen troops free 8 hostages from Al-Qaeda

Italy hails Egypt as 'strategic partner'

US Congress skeptical of Iran nuclear talks extension

Khartoum, Darfur rebels open ceasefire talks

Time runs out for biggest chance to resolve Iran nuclear standoff

Egypt leader heads to Italy

Morocco arrests six over online IS allegiance pledge

Iraqi forces retake areas near Iran border from jihadists

Southern Morocco storms claim eight lives