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Geneva decisions on Syria already being distorted – Lavrov

Posted by seumasach on July 4, 2012


3rd July, 2012

Russia regrets the Syrian opposition’s position on the Geneva conference, as well as that of some Western countries who wish to distort the agreements, FM Sergey Lavrov said.

“It seemed to us that the consensus reached in the final communique is an important step to consolidate the positions of all members of the international community, the participants in the conference and Syrian sides, on the positions of a peaceful settlement and the refusal to solve the problem in the military way,” Lavrov told reporters on Tuesday.

“Unfortunately, some representatives of the Syrian opposition began to state that the Geneva decisions are unacceptable for them,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, Lavrov pointed out that “some Western participants in the meeting began to distort the agreements…in their public statements.”

The Russian minister stressed that the agreements that have been hammered out in the agreement should not be altered from their original context.

“The Geneva agreements should not be distorted in any way,” he said. “They mean just what has been written in the communique, and we will try not to rewrite anything afterwards.”

Lavrov praised the agreements of the communiqué, saying they represent the best hope for achieving peace in the Arab nation.

“Geneva gives good chances and they should be used,” the minister stressed. “It is important that all players are pressing actively on all Syrian parties in order to make them stop violence and get down to the table of negotiations.”

In separate comments, the Chairman of the State Duma’s Foreign Affairs Committee Alexey Pushkov said Moscow and Washington interpret the Geneva agreements on Syria differently.

“A war of interpretation broke out after the agreement on political transformation in Syria was signed in Geneva,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is convinced the agreement makes it clear to the current Syrian leadership that it must go, he said.

“Moscow, by contrast, said the agreement does not say a word about Assad’s resignation and that he is not mentioned at all in it,” the Russian lawmaker said.

Pushkov warned that disagreement over the document’s meaning puts the US and Russia on a “collision” course.

“We are again witnessing a collision,” he said. “On the one hand we can see the United States and the so-called ‘Friends of Syria’ who want Assad to resign. On the other Russia and China are seeking an immediate end to the violence and the earliest possible beginning of talks between the Syrian government and opposition.”

The only common ground between the sides is the belief that the situation in Syria must be settled politically, he said, adding that the US is making Assad’s resignation a precondition of the talks.

“We advocate talks between the government and opposition, and the U.S. and others – talks with Assad’s simultaneous resignation. In fact, they are advancing a precondition for the talks,” he said.

Furthermore, the United States and its supporters actively dictate what the Syrian opposition’s position should be, Pushkov said.

“The rebels have announced already that they will not start talks before Assad’s resignation, which indicates that they obey the logic dictated from abroad,” the Duma official added, while also mentioning that a similar type of confrontation ensued over various interpretations of the UN Security Council’s resolution 1973 on Libya, which led to NATO forces resorting to military action in that country.

An international conference on ways to resolve the deteriorating situation in Syria was held in Geneva on June 29.

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