March 08, 4:38
MOSCOW, November 5 (Itar-Tass) - Syria’s National Coalition put forth preconditions, which run counter the Geneva communique, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
After the talks with New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully on Tuesday, Lavrov said: “Among the opposition’s preconditions, I can name Iran’s non-participation in the conference. The second one is that before to go to Geneva the National Coalition should know when Syrian President Bashar al-Assad resigns. And the third precondition is that al-Assad opponents should be armed more actively.”
“Russia and the U.S. agreed that the Geneva II Conference should be convened without preconditions, but in compliance with the Geneva communique,” the Russian minister said.
The Geneva communique “includes all aspects of the crisis, the need to restore the economy, social welfare and ensure Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”. “We believe that the Russian-American initiative of May 7 was backed by all parties, without any exclusion,” Lavrov said.
“It is rather strange that the National Coalition, which was considered by the West and certain countries of the region the only legitimate representative, is starting to make statements, which run counter the essence of the Geneva communique and the Russian-U.S. initiative of May 7,” the minister said.
“We think that certain countries of the region [those who sponsor the National Coalition] seek to keep it from agreeing with the Russian-U.S. initiative. Recently I’ve read an interview saying the National Coalition had right to decide with whom to talk in Geneva. This arrogant statement runs counter the Geneva agreements,” Lavrov said.
“The National Coalition, which has no support in its creation, is marginalised more and more. Other people have real influence among opponents to [Syrian President Bashar] al-Assad.”
Russia believes that it is necessary “to respect the agreements: the Geneva communique and the Russian-American initiative of May 7, 2013”, the minister said.
Sergei Lavrov called to give up the illusions to possibly cut ‘the Syrian knot’ through a foreign intervention.
“We continue to work vigorously with U.S. partners and the team of the UN/LAS special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi in order to convene a peace conference Geneva-2,” he said at a reception on the occasion of the Muslim New Year on Tuesday.
“We find it needed to give up once and for all the illusions to possibly cut ‘the Syrian knot’ through a foreign intervention and unrealistic schemes of operations plotted from abroad to change the incumbent authorities,” the Russian minister said.
Russia supports the intentions of Arab peoples to democratic reforms and the creation of more efficient social systems, Russian Foreign Minister said.
Lavrov noted that the events in the Middle East and North Africa in the course of the previous year were characteristic of high volatility and took an important place on the international agenda. “The challenges related with the danger of inter-civilization rifts, require the closest attention. The growth of conflicting moods in the Arab world may turn in stronger ethnic and confessional tension, moreover, not only between different religions, but it is particularly regretful inside the Islam,” the minister noted.
“In current conditions everybody, who have an opportunity to exert influence on the current situation in the region, should act in the balanced way as much as possible, without trying to impose their own gradation of values,” he added.
Geneva II date
A source close to the trilateral talks which concluded in the Palace of Nations earlier on Tuesday, told Itar-Tass that Geneva II will be held no earlier than in December.