Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov censures West over Syria
Sun Sep 2, 2012 10:4AM
If those who insist that the opposition continues its armed struggle until the (Syrian) government voluntarily lays down arms and runs away… then I get a very strong feeling that they are not motivated by the interests of the Syrian people, but rather by their own geopolitical interests.” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei LavrovRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the Western powers are seeking their own geopolitical interests rather than the Syrian people’s interests. Addressing an audience at the Moscow Institute of Foreign Relations on Saturday, Lavrov warned against any foreign intervention in Syria, stressing that the Western states have no concern for the interests of the Syrian nation. “If those who insist that the opposition continues its armed struggle until the (Syrian) government voluntarily lays down arms and runs away, if they (West) insist on that and see that as the only solution to the problem, which they proclaim publicly and tell us during our talks, then I get a very strong feeling that they are not motivated by the interests of the Syrian people, but rather by their own geopolitical interests in this very important region,” Lavrov stated.
The Russian foreign minister also cited the Western powers’ pressure on the Syrian government to stop fighting with foreign-sponsored insurgents as a mistake, adding that the Syrian opposition should also be pushed to stop the violence in the country.He said that regardless of the attitude to the Syrian government, it is “absolutely unrealistic to say that the unilateral capitulation of one of the parties in conflict is the only way out, in a situation when there’s ongoing urban fighting.” Lavrov also called it “naive” for the West to expect Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to withdraw his troops from the conflict-ridden cities. Russia along with China vetoed a Western-backed draft resolution in July, which called for new sanctions against the Syrian government under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. Syria has been the scene of unrest since mid-March 2011 and many people, including large numbers of security forces, have been killed in the violence. Damascus says outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorists are the driving factor behind the unrest, but the opposition accuses the security forces of being behind the killings. AO/HSN