Russia, stress necessity of holding international Syria conference

GMT 18:15 2013 Saturday ,29 June

Arab Today, arab today Russia, stress necessity of holding international Syria conference

Moscow - SANA

Russian FM Sergey Lavrov reiterated Russia's commitment to holding an international conference to solve the crisis in Syria, affirming that supplying more weapons to the 'Syrian opposition' hinders the conference and is a violation of all international resolutions that should be probed. Speaking at a Friday press conference with Morocco's counterpart Saadeddin al-Othmani in Moscow, Lavrov said that ''Russia is committed to convening the international conference on Syria according to what has been agreed upon with the Americans on May 7.'' In reply to a question on the chances of holding the conference with the Americans following Wall Street Journal leaks that the US will be arming the 'Syrian opposition' via Jordan, Lavrov said "the activities aimed at providing weapons to the opposition, which have recently intensified, only means that the precondition [set by the foreign-backed militants to restore a balance of power on the battle ground] is supported by the West and other countries which are going to supply such weapons, this contradicting the very concept of the conference, which is to begin without any preconditions." Lavrov said that the Russian-US initiative aims to fully implement Geneva statement issued on June 30, 2012 that stipulates the approval of the Syrian government and opposition to participate without preconditions. ''But we heard that the Western-backed opposition won't be attending the conference unless two conditions are met; that the current regime steps down and that they get the upper hand on the ground.'' Commenting on Western media reports about US weapons' shipments to the armed terrorist groups in Syria, Lavrov said there is talk of a flow of Libyan weapons to Syria other than the American, saying ''journalists do not only speak about US administration's plans on sending weapons to Syria, but also about previously sent weapons, and here I mean weapons purchased from European countries which were later sent from the Gulf to Syria.'' "If this is true, this is a gross violation of the UN Security Council ban on arms deliveries to and from Libya," Lavrov further emphasized, calling for a probe into the issue. He stressed that some regional powers with different agendas contradict the goals of the bids to implement the Russian-US initiative for holding the conference on Syria. He added that ''some players want instability in Syria and to lend the conflict ethnic and sectarian overtones…they also do not want a political solution and do not want Syria a diversified state…those players have a very narrow agenda.'' Lavrov urged all influential countries to implement the G8 summit statement, especially as regards Syria, affirming that the final statement stressed respect to Syria's sovereignty and its territorial integrity, and called the Syrian government and opposition to exert efforts to get the gunmen out of Syria. Lavrov also denied reports that the Russian resupply base in Tartus and the Russian embassy in Damascus are shutting down. “The embassy and the base are working in routine mode,” he was cited as saying, describing the news as ''baseless and provocative rumors that aim at obstructing Russian efforts.'' Lavrov said that Russia-Morocco rapprochement pushes the two countries to cooperate at the UN Security Council on a variety of issues, including Syria, adding that both countries share full respect to the international law and rules. The Moroccan FM said that the main principle is to preserve Syria's unity and non-interference in its affairs, and backing every political solution that leads to a cessation of violence there. He expressed his country's support to convening the international conference on Syria, signally readiness to take part in every endeavor that leads to an end to the bloodshed in Syria. Peskov : Putin discusses international issues, preparations for conference on Syria Media Advisor to the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said that President Vladimir Putin discussed with member of the Russian National Security Council, the international issues including preparations for the international conference on Syria and the current Russian-US relations. "During the meeting, views on the efforts exerted for the preparation for the international conference on Syria, were elaborately exchanged, " Peskov told reporters on Friday. He added "The meeting also discussed the current international issues as well as issues of social and economic life in Russia." India, Russia emphasize importance of political solution in Syria Russian President's Special Representative to the Middle East, Deputy Foreign Minister, Mikhail Bogdanov discussed with the Indian ambassador in Moscow Ajai Malhotra the situation in Syria and the region. The two sides also discussed mutual efforts to help find a speedy political settlement to the crisis through convening an international conference according to the Russian-US agreement issued on May 7. The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday that Bogdanov received Malhotra on Friday, adding that the two sides discussed the urgent topics on the Middle East agenda, especially the situation in Syria.

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