Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Russia against military action on Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (file photo)

Source: Press TV

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that Russia would not allow the UN Security Council (UNSC) to push for military action against Syria, Press TV reports.

Lavrov made the remarks during an interview in Sydney, Australia on Tuesday.

“If the Syrian opposition refuses to sit at the negotiating table with the regime, what is the alternative? To force the regime if they demand [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad to step down and he doesn't? Then what? To send in the aircraft to bomb Syria? We've been through that before,” he said, referring to the Western-led military intervention in Libya in March 2011.

“The Security Council will never approve that, I guarantee you that,” he added and noted that Moscow would “never allow” the UNSC to legalize a Libya-style operation in Syria to defuse the unrest in the Middle Eastern country.

“The international community unfortunately did take sides in Libya and we would never allow the Security Council to authorize anything similar to what happened in Libya.”

The top officials of the Arab League (AL) are at the UN headquarters in New York, asking the world body to force Assad to resign and hand over the power to a deputy, who is then supposed to form a national unity government 'with the opposition within two months.'

The United States, the UK, and France have supported the AL plan.

Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov has warned that any Western-backed draft UNSC resolution on Syria will pave the way for a 'civil war' in the Arab nation.

Such a draft resolution on Damascus, if approved, “will not help in the search for a compromise,” Gatilov told Russian media on Tuesday.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011, with demonstrations being held both against and in favor of Assad.

Hundreds of people, including many members of the Syrian security forces, have been killed during the violence.

Damascus says 'outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups' are responsible for the unrest, which, it says, is being orchestrated from abroad.

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