Sunday Dec 23, 201206:13 AM GMT
Russia says West is losing influence on Syria opposition
Militants are seen at a checkpoint in the city of Aleppo in northern Syria. (File photo)
Militants are seen at a checkpoint in the city of Aleppo in northern Syria. (File photo)
Russia says the West has failed to achieve enough control on Syria’s newly formed opposition coalition, warning against the repetition of the military intervention in Libya.


"I think that the Western sponsors of this coalition are already losing their influence on it," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Moscow on Saturday.

The Syrian National Coalition for Revolutionary and Opposition Forces was introduced in November and was soon recognized by Western and Arab governments as well as Turkey as the sole representative of the Syrian people.

Lavrov said he believed the West did not really desire to intervene in the Syrian conflict and that they were even “praying for Russia and China to continue blocking permission for external intervention” in the Arab nation.

“Because if there is such a decision, they will have to act, and no one is ready to act," he stated.

Lavrov reiterated Moscow’s opposition against any foreign intervention in Syria, recalling UN Security Council resolutions that NATO used as a pretext to launch a military action on Libya in 2011.

"We are convinced that the UN Security Council must not take any more ambiguous decisions, after our partners behaved so abominably over the resolution on Libya," he urged.

The West has been critical of Russia and China for using their veto power at the Security Council to block three sanction resolutions aimed at tightening the noose around the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

On Friday, Lavrov denounced Western countries for supporting the militants fighting government forces in Syria. "Our Western colleagues have started dividing terrorists into 'bad' and 'acceptable.' That is very dangerous," he said.

Syria has experienced a deadly unrest that erupted in March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.

Damascus says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, while numerous reports indicate that a very large number of anti-government militants operating in Syria are foreign nationals.

MRS/NT/MA
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