In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Russia calls ‘Friends of Syria’ group ‘immoral’

Posted by seumasach on July 7, 2012

The “Friends of Syria” conference combines the hubris,imbecility and impotence of the West unable to come to terms with the rise of Russia, China and the Global South. The approach of Francois Hollande is particularly stupid given that he allegedly aims to forge a Euro-Brics alliance: despite being subject to a withering assault by Anglo-American finance Europe remains locked in to the hegemonic Anglo-American agenda. All Hollande has to do is to offer coherent support for the Annan Plan: does he really still have to play to the gallery of the senile French left?

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7th July, 2012

Meetings being organized by the Friends of Syria group are one-sided and immoral, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich has said, RIA Novostireported.

“Russia, China and a number of other countries which have traditionally friendly relations with the Syrian Arab Republic and its people have refused to join those ‘friends’ because we believe that the format that they have chosen is not only politically wrong, but also immoral,” Lukashevich said.

His remarks followed a conference of the Friends of Syria group held in Paris on Friday, in which representatives of some 100 countries took part.

Participants in the talks voiced strong criticism of Russia and China for their reluctance to join Western and Arab governments in calling on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

In her address to the delegates, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Moscow and Beijing “will pay a price” for “holding up progress” on Syria, urging the participating countries to put pressure on Russia and China to withdraw their support for Assad.

“I ask you to reach out to Russia and China and to not only urge, but demand that they get off the sidelines and begin to support the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people,” Clinton said, adding: “I don’t think Russia and China believe they are paying any price at all, nothing at all, for standing up on behalf of the Assad regime.”

Lukashevich said in his comments that the U.S. and its allies’ “friendship” with the Syrian opposition alone could further deepen the bloody 17-month-long conflict between the Syrian government and those fighting it.

“This would mean only one thing – the continuation of bloodshed and new human tragedies,” Lukashevich said.

“We have an impression that some of the participants in the Geneva meeting on July 30 this year do not take seriously the responsibility that ensues from the provisions of its final communique,” he added.

Participants in the Geneva talks, including the five permanent UN Security Council members – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States – as well as Turkey, Iraq, Qatar and Kuwait have urged the Syrian government and opposition groups to immediately end fighting and obey to a peace plan proposed by UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.

They also called for the creation of a transitional government in Syria involving members of both the current Syrian leadership and opposition groups.

Instead of pushing the conflicting Syrian sides to work together to achieve peaceful transition, he said, the Friends of Syria group organize “politico-propagandist performances in the spirit of party congresses, where the fate of Syria is being discussed in the absence of its representatives and loud calls on oppositionists to launch an uncompromising fight to overthrow the Syrian leadership are being heard.”

Those calls are being strengthened by “generous promises of financial and economic support, as well as behind-the-scenes hints at the possibility of using a military scenario” in Syria, he added.

Russia and China have twice vetoed United Nations resolutions against Assad, citing a pro-rebel bias.

Both countries have however backed Annan’s six-point peace plan, which went into force in April, but has failed to stop the bloodshed.

Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, is expected to hold talks with Syrian opposition groups next week, a diplomatic source said on Friday.

The UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution on Friday condemning the Syrian authorities for what it said were violations of human rights during the conflict. The resolution was approved by 41 members of the council, with Russia, China and Cuba voting against.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a report submitted to the Security Council on Friday that the United Nations cannot verify the number of people killed in Syria since the beginning of the unrest in March 2011. Ban cited non-governmental organizations as saying the death toll was between 13,000 and 17,000.

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